Asia Markets

Asia shares quiet on earnings caution; Samsung up despite weak guidance

Asian equities were mostly lower in subdued trade on Tuesday, tracking U.S. declines, while caution set in ahead of the second-quarter corporate earnings season.

Wall Street shares resumed trade on a negative note on Monday following an extended weekend. Investors were looking ahead to Alcoa's earnings after the bell on Tuesday, with Wells Fargo due to follow three days later.

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"With a lack of strong catalysts for the market today, investors are likely to position themselves for tomorrow's data from China with its consumer price index (CPI) data for June and developments from the Indonesian elections," said Ryan Huang, market strategist at IG in a note.

Nikkei 0.4% lower

Japanese shares pared losses after touching a one-week low of 15,225 points earlier in the session. Still, the index posted a second session of losses as an above-view current account surplus for May failed to boost sentiment.

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Insurance companies were the biggest losers on the benchmark index. T&D Holdings, Tokio Marine and Ms&Ad Insurance lost over 3 percent each.

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Casio Computer rallied 7.5 percent after announcing a plan to buy back 3.1 percent of its shares.

China shares flat

Mainland shares inched up 0.2 percent in cautious trade as investors await a raft of data due this week, including consumer price inflation on Wednesday and trade balance figures on Thursday.

Real-estate developers led the declines on the Shanghai Composite index, with Vanke and Gemdale down nearly 1 percent lower.

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In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index eased 0.1 percent.

Emerging markets in focus

All eyes on India and Indonesia this week

Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite rallied 1 percent to its highest levels since May 19 ahead of Wednesday's presidential election, extending gains into a third session.

Indian stocks eased 0.3 percent as the country's railway budget got underway on Tuesday afternoon. Railway shares were mostly lower with Texmaco slumping nearly 7 percent and Titagarh Wagons down 5 percent.

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ASX dips 0.1%

Australia's benchmark index crept lower while the Australian dollar edged higher against the greenback, moving off a two-week low of $0.9327 hit last week.

Miners were mixed as copper prices remained below last week's four-and-a-half-month peak. Fortescue Metals lost 2 percent while Rio Tinto added 0.2 percent.

Altona Mining surged 26 percent after selling its Finnish assets for A$101 million and saying it plans to make a A$0.15 per share cash payment to shareholders.

Kospi flat

South Korean shares managed to close in positive territory thanks to gains in Samsung Electronics. The tech giant ended 0.2 percent higher following a 1 percent rally earlier in the session after forecasting lower-than-expected second-quarter operating profit and sales.