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Asian shares mixed ahead of key data

Asian markets were mixed in edgy trade on Tuesday following a pick-up on Wall Street as investors await key economic news from around the world later in the week.

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed in edgy trade on Tuesday following a pick-up on Wall Street as investors await key economic news from around the world later in the week.

The dollar maintained the gains against the yen it achieved in New York as dealers took in their stride a new wave of sanctions against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

Seoul slid 0.23 per cent, or 4.49 points, to 1,964.77 while Sydney lost 0.89 per cent, or 49.5 points, to finish at 5,486.6. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.

Shanghai rose 0.84 per cent, or 16.85 points, to 2,020.34 and Hong Kong added 1.45 per cent, or 321.36 points, to end at 22,453.89 after falling almost two per cent in the previous two sessions.

US shares mostly bounced back on Monday after tumbling at the end of last week, with attention now on a Federal Reserve announcement Wednesday on plans for its stimulus programme.

On Friday, non-farm payrolls data will be released, giving a handle on the state of the world's number one economy.

Friday will also see the release of surveys of manufacturing activity from around the world, with the main focus on China. Dealers are hoping for signs that a recent slowdown in the Asian economic giant has bottomed out.

On Wall Street, the Dow added 0.53 per cent and the S&P 500 rose 0.32 per cent but the Nasdaq dipped 0.03 per cent.

Singapore's United Overseas Bank (UOB) said traders were exercising caution "ahead of the US Fed meeting and US non-farm payroll data, as well as a holiday shortened trading week".

There was little reaction to another round of US sanctions against seven Russian officials and 17 Kremlin-linked firms. The European Union said it was adding 15 names to its own list.

The Western sanctions are a response to Russia's perceived failure to implement an April 17 deal struck in Geneva to defuse the crisis.

In Seoul, Samsung Electronics sank 2.02 per cent after saying operating profit fell for a second straight quarter owing to slowing sales of its smartphones.

The dollar bought 102.62 yen, compared with 102.45 yen late in New York and well up from 102.20 yen earlier Monday in Asia.

The euro fetched $1.3864 against $1.3851, while it was also at 142.27 yen from 141.95 yen.

Oil prices went up in Asia. US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, climbed 35 cents to $101.19 in afternoon trade. Brent North Sea crude for June rose 44 cents to $108.56.

Gold fetched $1,290.37 an ounce at 0810 GMT compared with $1,301.45 on Monday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei rose 0.71 per cent, or 62.4 points, to 8,872.11. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 1.26 per cent to NT$120.5 while leading cellphone camera lens maker Largan Precision shed 2.51 per cent to NT$1,940.

-- Wellington climbed 0.64 per cent, or 32.49 points, to 5,149.29. Fletcher Building up 0.92 per cent at NZ$9.85 and Telecom added 2.06 per cent to NZ$2.72.

-- Manila gained 0.49 per cent, or 32.10 points, to 6,636.45. Ayala Corp. added 0.73 per cent to 618.50 pesos while Alliance Global Group rose 0.16 per cent to 30.65 pesos.

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