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Asia shares mixed after Wall St losses

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday, after Wall Street retreated from record highs and US analysts warned that a recent equities rally could see a sharp reverse.

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday, after Wall Street retreated from record highs and US analysts warned that a recent equities rally could see a sharp reverse.

Investors are hoping to get a better handle on the state of the global economy with the release this week of Chinese economic data as well as minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting.

Tokyo eased 0.42 per cent, or 65.03 points, to finish at 15,314.41, while Sydney fell 0.15 per cent, or 8.0 points, to 5510.9 and Seoul was flat, nudging up 1.54 points to 2,006.66.

Shanghai added 0.20 per cent, or 4.09 points, to 2,064.02 and Hong Kong closed flat, ticking up 0.46 points to 23,541.38.

After a long Independence Day weekend, US shares returned on Monday for the first time since Thursday's better-than-expected jobs report.

However, they ended in the red on profit-taking while there were warnings that global markets could be headed for further losses after enjoying a positive run-up in the past few weeks, which has seen the Dow and S&P 500 touch new records.

Nobel prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in a television interview he was "very uncomfortable" with current stock prices, while Raymond James managing director Jeffrey Saut said in a note that stocks are vulnerable to a 10-12 per cent decline in the weeks ahead.

The Dow slipped 0.26 per cent after breaking 17,000 for the first time on Thursday, while the S&P 500 eased 0.39 per cent. The Nasdaq declined 0.77 per cent.

The dollar also fell in New York, sitting at 101.87 yen late in trade, well down from the 102.11 yen in Tokyo earlier in the day.

On Tuesday morning, the greenback bought 101.80 yen.

The euro fetched $1.3589 and 138.32 yen in Tokyo, against $1.3604 and 138.59 yen in US trade.

On Wednesday, the Fed is due to release the minutes from its most recent policy meeting.

"Attention is now turning to US corporate earnings and the US Fed's stance on monetary policy, especially the pace of stimulus tapering after last week's strong jobs data," Rakuten Securities senior market analyst Masayuki Doshida told Dow Jones Newswires.

Also Wednesday, China will announce inflation data for June, following that up with trade figures on Thursday. There are hopes for another upbeat set of results following a recent string of good news, including on manufacturing activity.

In Seoul, Samsung Electronics ended 0.23 per cent higher despite warning of a 25 per cent plunge in its operating profit in the second quarter of the year as its smartphone business grapples with a strong won and cheap rivals from China.

Analysts said the weak figures had already been priced in, resulting in a more than 10 per cent fall since early June.

Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery dipped 20 cents to $103.33 while Brent crude for August was down 52 cents to $109.72.

Gold fetched $1,322.43 an ounce at 1130 GMT compared with $1,314.03 late on Monday.

In other markets:

-- Mumbai fell 1.98 per cent, or 517.97 points, to 25,582.11 points.

Unitech dived 12.54 per cent to 28.25 rupees and Jaiprakash Associates fell 9.82 per cent to 66.15 rupees.

-- Bangkok gained 0.29 per cent, or 4.37 points, to 1,507.58.

Coal producer Banpu lost 0.86 per cent to 28.75 baht, while Bangkok Bank added 0.76 per cent to 198.50 baht.

-- Singapore eased 0.25 per cent, or 8.23 points, to 3,283.34.

DBS Bank was down 0.52 per cent to S$17.07 while Singapore Airlines fell 0.10 per cent to S$10.39.

-- Kuala Lumpur ended flat at 1,892.65, gaining just 0.15 points or 0.01 per cent.

Financial firm CIMB Group Holdings added 0.3 per cent to 7.28 ringgit, while SapuraKencana Petroleum rose 0.2 per cent to 4.41. Telekom Malaysia lost 0.2 per cent to 6.36 ringgit.

-- Jakarta ended up 0.72 per cent, or 35.68 points, at 5,024.71. Telecommunications company Indosat gained 2.19 per cent at 3,735 rupiah, while Hero Supermarket fell 6.04 per cent to 2,800 rupiah.

-- Taipei rose 0.11 per cent, or 10.78 points, to 9,530.98.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 1.10 per cent to NT$134.5 while Hon Hai Precision was 0.97 per cent higher at NT$104.5.

-- Wellington sank 0.39 per cent, or 20.29 points, to 5,166.08.

Air New Zealand was off 2.06 per cent at NZ$2.135 and Fletcher Building eased 0.66 per cent to NZ$9.00.

-- Manila closed 0.72 per cent lower, dipping 50.58 points to 6,948.52.

Ayala Land retreated 1.43 per cent to 30.95 pesos, Philippine Long Distance Telephone gave up 0.60 per cent to 3,002.00 pesos and Megaworld Corp. eased 0.21 per cent to 4.72 pesos.

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