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Asian stocks mixed, China bolstered

Asian shares were mixed Monday (Aug 4) with China buoyed by recent data indicating its economic recovery, but other markets were unsettled by drops on Wall Street and the bailout of a crisis-hit Portuguese bank.

HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed Monday (Aug 4) with China buoyed by recent data indicating its economic recovery, but other markets were unsettled by drops on Wall Street and the bailout of a crisis-hit Portuguese bank.

Traders said the intervention by Portugal's central bank to inject 4.4 billion euros (US$5.9 billion) into the crisis-hit Banco Espirito Santo late Sunday had an impact on markets, as did the Dow's substantial sell-off last week.

Tokyo's Nikkei fell 0.31 percent or 48.61 points, closing at 15,474.50, Sydney dipped 15.5 points, or 0.28 percent, to finish at 5,540.9, and Seoul rose 0.35 percent, or 7.32 points, to end at 2,080.42. Hong Kong rose 0.28 percent or 67.65 points to close at 24,600.08, while Shanghai jumped 1.74 percent, or 38.03 points, finish at 2,223.33. Shenzhen gained 1.40 percent, or 16.03 points, to 1,164.32.

"European risk is having an impact on the broader market," Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager of research at Chibagin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In China, heavyweight blue-chip stocks led the gains, after an official survey Friday showed manufacturing rose at its fastest rate for more than two years in July.

AJ Securities analyst Hou Yingmin told Dow Jones Newswires this was due to a "combination of an economic recovery, ample liquidity and market friendly policies, including Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect program."

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.42 percent despite a solid US jobs report and generally good corporate earnings.

Investors took a cautious stance after Thursday's rout, which sent the blue-chip index tumbling more than 300 points, giving up all its gains for 2014.

Joshua Mahony, research analyst at Alpari (UK) told Dow Jones Newswires, traders were seeking to "determine whether this is just an anomaly... or a sign of something more significant".

In currency trade, the dollar bought 102.66 yen, down from 102.93 yen in Tokyo on Friday,

The euro bought US$1.3421 in Asia on Monday, down from US$1.3430 in US trade late Friday, while fetching 137.80 yen against 137.75 yen.

On oil markets, the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery was up 10 cents to US$97.98 while Brent crude for September gained 23 cents to US$105.07 in afternoon trade.

Gold fetched US$1,294.70 an ounce by 0800 GMT compared with US$1,284.40 Friday.

In other markets:

-- Manila climbed 1.51 percent, or 104.14 points, to 6,998.37.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co gained 1.16 percent to 3,136 pesos.

-- Taipei rose 0.69 percent, or 63.68 points, to 9,330.19.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 2.92 percent to TW$123.5 while LCY Chemical plunged 7.0 percent to TW$21.65.

-- Wellington closed down 0.38 percent, or 19.25 points, at 5,090.69.

Fletcher Building fell 1.01 percent to NZ$8.82 and Air New Zealand was off 1.57 percent at NZ$1.875.

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