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Asian Shares Mixed Amid Lack Of Catalysts


Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday as investors awaited earnings results from major U.S. companies as well as key economic data.

Chinese shares slipped into the red after three sessions of gains. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 4.57 points or 0.2 percent to 2,937.62, although Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 64.74 points or 0.2 percent to 28,619.62.

Japanese shares retreated on growth worries. The Nikkei 225 Index ended down 150.65 points or 0.7 percent at 21,535.25 as traders returned to their desks after a national holiday on Monday. The broader Topix closed 0.5 percent lower at 1,568.74.

Exporters, Canon, Sony and Panasonic lost 1-3 percent. Market heavyweight SoftBank Group shed 1.2 percent, Fanuc Corp slid 1.5 percent and FamilyMart slumped 2.7 percent.

On the other hand, Toyota Motor climbed 1.3 percent on buzz China will shift its automotive strategy to rely more on hybrid vehicles.

Australian markets finished marginally lower, dragged down by financials and energy companies. The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 12.00 points or 0.2 percent to 6,641.00, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 10.40 points or 0.2 percent at 6,735.80.

Banks Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac fell between 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent as minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting in July showed the central bank was ready to cut rates again this year "if needed."

Rio Tinto shed 0.6 percent despite the mining giant warning of further delays and a cost blowout of up to $1.9 billion at its Oyu Tolgoi underground copper mine in Mongolia. BHP rose 0.4 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group advanced 1.7 percent.

Woodside Petroleum and Beach Energy fell over 2 percent after crude oil futures declined more than 1 percent on Monday on concerns about energy demand. Oil Search declined 2.2 percent after lowering its annual production target.

Seoul stocks advanced as investors awaited cues from the second quarter earnings results to be released later this month.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 9.39 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 2,091.87. Automakers bucked the uptrend, with Hyundai Motor tumbling 3.6 percent and Kia Motors declining 1.9 percent.

New Zealand shares ended slightly lower, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index closing down 15.36 points or 0.1 percent at 10,651.20 after a government report showed consumer prices in the country rose 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter of 2019.

That was in line with expectations and up from 0.1 percent in the previous three months. Auckland International Airport fell 2.3 percent and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shed 1.8 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.4 percent despite the International Monetary Authority lowering the country's growth outlook for 2019, citing weak foreign demand amid trade disputes.

Overnight, U.S. stocks edged up marginally to notch a fresh record close as Citigroup reported second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 closed just above the unchanged line.

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