Asian markets were mixed Tuesday, with bargain-hunting lifting some bourses but Tokyo dropping again following heavy losses in the previous session due to a stronger yen.

Wall Street provided another negative lead and Chinese dealers continued to fret about the restart of initial public offerings, which they fear could lead to a share glut.

Tokyo fell 0.59 percent, or 94.51 points, to 15,814.37 and Sydney closed down 0.15 percent, or 7.9 points at 5,317.0.

Shanghai ended flat, edging up 1.61 points to 2,047.32 and Hong Kong added 0.13 percent, or 28.63 points, to 22,712.78.

Seoul rose 0.32 percent, or 6.16 points, to close at 1,959.44, despite a 0.23 percent loss for Samsung Electronics shares after the company said it expects a steep drop in its fourth-quarter operating profit.

After a broadly positive year for global markets 2014 has started sluggishly, but investors will eye the release Wednesday of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting.

Analysts will seek clues about whether officials will further cut a stimulus programme this month, after reducing it by $10 billion a month to $75 billion at the December meeting.

The three main indexes on Wall Street slipped Monday, after numbers showing new factory orders in November hit their highest level since 1992 were offset by a slowdown in growth of the service sector last month.

The Dow fell 0.27 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.25 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.44 percent.

In Tokyo the Nikkei extended the 2.35 percent loss it suffered Monday on profit-taking after the index surged 57 percent last year.

"Stocks have definitely entered a consolidation phase," Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at Kabu.com Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The only question is how long it will last.

"Fundamentals and central bank policies remain in place for more yen weakness over time, but the market could trade more or less flat for several sessions without sparking any concerns about the longer-term upward trend petering out."

The dollar traded at 104.36 yen compared with 104.19 yen in New York on Monday, but is still well down from the five-year high of 105.41 yen seen at the start of last week.

And the euro -- which also touched a five-year high of 145.69 yen last week -- bought 142.17 yen, against 142.02 yen in the United States. The euro also fetched $1.3622 from $1.3629.

Chinese shares saw a late rally to end in positive territory, but investors remain concerned that a fresh batch of companies preparing to list after a year-long hiatus could divert already tight cash supplies.

Markets have also been spooked by data last week showing growth in manufacturing activity slowed in December.

On oil markets New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, rose 27 cents to $93.70 in afternoon trade. Brent North crude added 56 cents to $107.29.

Gold fetched $1,239.00 at 0700 GMT compared with $1,237.60 late Monday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei rose 0.14 percent, or 12.29 points, to 8,512.3.

Acer rose 3.06 percent to Tw$18.55 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 0.49 percent to Tw$102.0.

-- Wellington slipped 0.12 percent, or 5.69 points, to 4,759.63.

Telecom fell 1.28 percent to NZ$2.31, Fletcher Building was down 2.76 percent at NZ$8.45 and Trade Me ended 0.50 percent higher at NZ$4.03.

-- Manila fell 0.64 percent, or 38.37 points, to 5,947.44.

-- Mumbai fell 0.45 percent or 94.06 points to 20,693.24 points.

India's Tata Steel fell 3.29 percent to 394.80 rupees while local search engine Just Dial fell 5.41 percent to 1,429.75 rupees.

-- Kuala Lumpur slipped 4.07 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,825.11.

British American Tobacco ended 1.7 percent lower at 62.12 ringgit while IHH Healthcare shed 1.8 percent to 3.82. Telekom Malaysia gained 1.7 percent to close at 5.48 ringgit.

-- Bangkok gained 2.56 percent or 31.52 points to 1,262.36.

Airports of Thailand rose 6.32 percent to 151.50 baht, while Thai Airways added 5.65 percent to 13.10 baht.

-- Jakarta ended down 0.64 percent, or 27 points, at 4,175.81.

Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper fell 8.95 percent to 1,170 rupiah, while palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari lost 2.38 percent to 21,500 rupiah.

-- Singapore closed down 0.09 percent, or 2.94 points, at 3,120.88.

Transport company ComfortDelGro rose 2.29 percent to Sg$2.01 while United Overseas Bank eased 0.62 percent at Sg$20.72.

 

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