Asia Markets

Asia shares mixed in subdued session after flat US lead


Asian equity markets were mixed on Wednesday with momentum subdued following a lackluster session on Wall Street.

U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday as 10-year Treasury bond yields hit a one-month high, but the Dow still managed to eke out its fourth record high.

"Trading activity has taken a step down as we enter in summer and with the World Cup poised to begin on Thursday," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.

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News that the World Bank cut its global growth forecast to 2.8 percent from an earlier prediction of a 3.2 percent also weighed on sentiment. The organization said Ukraine's unrest and China's economic re-balancing has reduced confidence worldwide.

Nikkei adds 0.5%

Japan's benchmark rebounded from Tuesday's one-week closing low after the head of the country's public pension fund, the world's largest, said the fund will announce a boost to stock and foreign bond investments later this year.

That overshadowed results from a survey that showed big manufactures turned pessimistic about business conditions in the April to June period.

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Convenience store operator Seven & I added 0.9 percent on reports that its operating profit rose an annual 5 percent for the quarter to May.

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China shares mixed

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index eked out a 0.1 percent gain to end at a seven-week high, while the yuan continued to trade near a one-month high against the dollar. Investors digested news that the central bank will quicken interest rate liberalization and preparation for setting up a deposit insurance system this year.

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Dairy producers rallied on news that Beijing approved a restructuring plan for the industry. Bright Dairy and Food rose 2 percent while Inner Mongolia Yilli Industrial added 1 percent.

Hong Kong stocks meanwhile traded 0.3 percent lower, retreating from a previous five-month high.

ASX dips 0.3%

Australian shares fell after rising to a one-week high on Tuesday despite a private measure of consumer sentiment rebounding 0.2 percent in June from May's 6.8 percent slump.

Miners fell with copper prices trading at a one-month low; Fortescue Metals lost 2 percent and BHP Billiton fell 1 percent.

Travel agency Flight Centre rose 1 percent after saying on Tuesday that it expects to hit the lower end of its underlying profit range for the financial year to June.

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Kospi up 0.1%

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index ended at its highest level since May 22 for the second straight session after data showed the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in May, slightly better than April's 3.9 percent reading.

Samsung affiliates continued to be sold off with index heavyweight Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI down 1 percent each.

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Sensex dips 0.4%

Indian shares finished lower despite data showing a 12.4 percent annual rise in exports for May, which marked a six-month high.