Asia shares mixed, China inflation at four-month high

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as fresh records on Wall Street were offset by profit-taking after recent gains, while Shanghai and Hong Kong brushed off data showing Chinese inflation surging to a four-month high.

Tokyo dipped 0.27 percent after closing Monday at a three-month high in the previous session, while Hong Kong lost 0.12 percent, Sydney gained 0.40 percent, Shanghai was 0.13 percent higher and Seoul climbed 0.36 percent.

Global markets have been on an uptrend in recent weeks as dealers cheer a string of impressive data, including a healthy US jobs report, stronger Japanese economic growth and a marked improvement in Chinese manufacturing and trade.

The results, as well as fresh merger and acquisition activity, sent Wall Street surging. The Dow rose 0.11 percent to its third straight record close, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.09 percent, hitting an all-time high for the fourth straight session. The Nasdaq added 0.34 percent.

However, dealers decided to take their cash off the table with a lack of any buying incentives. There was little initial reaction to data showing Chinese inflation came in at 2.5 percent in May, in line with expectations.

The figure is also much higher than the 1.8 percent recorded the month before, and is the highest since January, alleviating fears earlier in the year that the country will slip into deflation.

However, it is still well below the government´s target of 3.5 percent for 2014, and will not be enough to quell calls for the government to introduce easing measures to boost the economy.

In foreign exchange trade, the dollar dipped to 102.37 yen in Tokyo Tuesday from 102.53 yen late in New York.

The euro eased to $1.3589 from $1.3592, while it was also at 139.14 yen against 139.35 yen.

Oil prices went up in Asia. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained 31 cents to stand at $104.72 in early Asian trade for its July delivery, while Brent North Sea crude for July also rose 14 cents to reach $110.13 per barrel.

Gold fetched $1,253.26 an ounce at 0100 GMT compared with $1,255.94 late Monday.