Asia Markets

Asia shares mixed; China Resources affiliates plunge


Asian equities were mixed on Tuesday despite Monday's rally on Wall Street as investors were cautious about the prospect of further U.S. sanctions on Russia.

On Monday, the U.S. State Department said new sanctions on Moscow could come within days. The statement comes as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine to offer more technical aid to Kiev as pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country refuse to give up their strongholds after seizing government buildings over the weekend.

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Wall Street recap

U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the netting its first five-day winning streak since October, as investors focused on a slew of earnings reports. Netflix jumped over 6 percent in after-hours trade after the video streaming service's $53 million dollar first quarter profit beat expectations.

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Shanghai up 0.34%

Mainland shares erased losses in the final hour of trade while the yuan fell to its weakest level against the dollar in over a year.

Earlier in the session, the index hit a two-week low following Monday's 1.5 percent plunge on fears that a spate of new market listings will tighten liquidity after 19 new initial public offering filings were listed on the China Securities Regulatory Commission website on Monday.

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Property developers rallied on news that China plans to establish a land registration system by 2016 in an effort to make the real estate market more transparent. Gemdale surged 6 percent but China Merchants Property jumped nearly 2 percent.

In Hong Kong, affiliates of state-owned China Resources Group were sold off after its chairman Song Lin was fired on Monday. China Resources Enterprise lost over 3 percent, China Resources Power tumbled 10 percent and China Resources Cement fell 4 percent.

Nikkei slips 0.85%

Japan's benchmark Nikkei erased earlier gains to end at a one-week low as the yen strengthened against the dollar in afternoon trade, retreating from a two-week low of 102.71 hit earlier this month

Earlier in the session, the index rose on news that the government overhauled its public pension fund - the world's biggest - in a push toward Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's goal of riskier investments and reduced reliance on government bonds.

Banks led the declines with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial down 2.3 percent while Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial eased 1 percent each.

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ASX up 0.46%

Australian shares finished at their highest levels since April 10 following a four-day Easter holiday. Banks underpinned gains on the benchmark index with Australia New Zealand Banking and Westpac both 1 percent higher.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar jumped 0.4 percent against the greenback ahead of Wednesday's consumer price inflation figures for the March quarter.

"It [the inflation data] is of greater than usual importance because we have already seen two quarters in a row of higher than expected inflation and the December quarter release contributed to the RBA moving to a neutral bias on interest rates and dropping its jawboning on the Australian dollar. The March quarter CPI should be a bit more benign with a quarterly rise of 0.6 percent for both the headline and underlying measures," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, in a note published Friday.

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Kospi up 0.25%

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index erased early losses to finish above the 2,000 level, helped by a 1.2 percent gain in blue-chip automaker Kia Motors.

India flat

India's Sensex index extended gains to hit its second straight record high of 22,853 points but pared gains and finished the day flat.