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Asian Shares End Up on US Gains, Tokyo Slips

Asian shares painted a mixed picture as some markets failed to stay the course after rising in early trade on the back of modest gains on Wall Street.

The dollar edged higher as investors trimmed short positions after euro zone officials commented about the merits of a strong dollar. But dealers said the rebound would likely to limited.

Gold climbed to another all-time high of $1,143.95 an ounce in early Asian trade, lifting gold-related stocks.

The Australian market pared gains to close 0.2 percent higher, as miners came off highs. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 9.6 points to 4,739.0, after touching a high of 4,780.4 points.

Global miners BHP Billiton finished up 0.3 percent after rising to a 14-month high of A$41.36 on the back of strong metals prices.

The country's biggest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, jumped 2.4 percent before trimming gains to 0.6 percent.

Arrow Energy surged 7 perecnt on expectation that the gas producer will have good news on drilling results at its annual meeting on Friday.

Insurance Australia Group climbed 2.3 percent, after the Australian Financial Review speculated that former suitor QBE might consider another tilt at the country's top car and hoem insurer.

Bank stocks were mixed, with ANZ up 1.2 percent but CBA fell 0.7 percent.

Tokyo slips 0.6%

Japan's Nikkei Average ended Wednesday's session down 0.6 percent to its lowest close in six weeks.

The benchmark inded declined 53.13 points to 9,676.8 and the broader Topix shed 0.8 percent to 850.06, its lowest close since May.

Property stocks were among the laggards in the wake of Tokyo Tatemono's plans to raise funds to pare debt and fund new investments. Sumitomo Realty lost 5.9 percent, Mitsui Fudosan fell 3.7 percent.

Takefuji slumped 17.98 percent to 365 yen, after Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of the consumer lender.

Financials weighed on the market as investors stayed cautious ahead of the earnings from Japan's biggest bank.

After the bell, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial said its group net profit rose 53.2 percent to 140.95 billion yen ($1.58 billion) in the fiscal first half due to a decline in bad loans and improvement in its stock portfolio. It aims to raise 1 trillion yen ($11.2 billion) by issuing new shares.

JAL shares slumped 3.9 percent to 98 yen after Japan's transport minister declined to rule out the possibility of a court-led bankruptcy for the struggling carrier.

Seoul Hits 3-Week High

Seoul shares climbed to a three-week high on Wednesday, led by Hyundai Mobis and as financials and retailers gained.

Hyundai Mobis jumed 4.3 percent after Hyundai Motor confirmed a plan to sell off its 1.68 percnt stake in the auto parts maker at market prices.

LG Household & Health, South Korea's No. 2 cosmetics company, trimmed gains to close 3.1 percent after surging 15 percent to a record high on a local media report that the unit of LG Group may buy smaller rival THEFACESHOP.

Strong October retail sales gave hopes that private consumption would stay robust and buoyed retailers such as Lotte Shopping, which rose 3.49 percent.

Shinsegae gained 1.67 percent, on expectations for capital gains from the planned IPO of the country's top life insurer, Samsung Life. Shinsegae owned a 13.6 percent stake in Samsung Life as of end-September.

Banking stocks such as Hana Financial rose 2.1 percent on views that markets might have bottomed out. Brokerage Daewoo Securities rose 6.6 percent as the prospect of steady interest rates boosted hopes that securities firms would cut losses from bond investments.

Taipei & Shanghai Advance

Taiwan's Taiex advanced 0.43 percent to 7,766.69 points following gains on Wall Street.

Chinatrust Financial, the island's largest credit card issuer, jumped as much as 4.1 percent before paring gains, after it agreed to buy a stake of AIG's Taiwan Life insurance unit.

China Strategic Holding surged 13 percent in Hong Kong, on news the investment group will sell its 30-percent stake in AIG's Taiwan unit to Chinatrust.

The Hang Seng Index gave up initial gains to end down 0.3 percent to 22,840.33 points.

China's benchmark Composite Index rose 0.6 percent to 3,303.234, adding to Tuesday's 0.2 percent gain.

Markets in Singapore and Malaysia traded in negative territory, down 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

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