Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as investors stayed cautious ahead of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting despite a positive end on Wall Street in the overnight session.
U.S. stocks closed at a 14-month high with the Dow topping the 10,500 mark as news of an energy deal and a lifeline for Dubai helped buoy market sentiment.
Japan's Nikkei stock average finished 0.2 percent lower, with tech shares such as Advantest and exporters losing ground.
But losses were countered by gains in property developers after Secured Capital Japan said it plans to buy a building in central Tokyo, in a deal sources said could be worth about $1.6 billion, prompting hopes for further investment in the sector. Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Estate and Sumitomo Realty & Development all jumped between 2 to 4 percent.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group regained lost ground to end 1.6 percent after Japan's largest bank on Monday priced a share sale at 428 yen to raise up to 1.03 trillion yen ($11.6 billion) to help meet stricter global capital requirements. Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ have fallen 12 percent in the past four sessions as investors sold ahead of the expected new issuance.
The Korea Composite Index eked out a 0.1 percent gain at the finish in choppy trade with shipbuilders and refiners pressuring markets. Samsung Electronics showed a muted reaction after a new CEO was appointed for the firm. The stock ended down 0.3 percent.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4 percent higher, to a one-week closing high, with miners and the energy sector leading the third straight session of gains after a big U.S. takeover deal by Exxon Mobil .
Origin Energy, Santos and coal seam gas producer Arrow Energy all clocked in gains.
Greater China markets ended in negative territory with the Taiwan Weighted down 0.2 percent while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite lost 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.
Chinese property stocks fell after China said it would take steps to cool the property market. That sent China Overseas Land and Shimao Property shares both tumbling nearly 6 percent. Chinese banking stocks like China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China also declined on fears Beijing may soon implement measures to cool a lending binge, following its announcement to limit property price rises in China.
Alibaba.com, China's largest e-commerce company, bucked the downtrend to climb 1.8 percent after its CEO said he was confident the company's 2010 profit would beat this 2009, as China's foreign trade levels improved.
Debutant PCD Stores made a healthy debut to jump 31.4 percent above its IPO price of
HK$1.95. The stock closed at HIK$2.55.
South-east Asian markets moved in opposite directions, with the Straits Times Index ending flat and the KL Composite ending up 0.4 percent.
Singapore-listed Chemoil Energy was halted from trade as commodity trader Glencore said it would acquire a 51 percent stake in the firm and had offered to buy all remaining shares at an 18 percent discount.
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