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Asian shares mixed after positive US, China data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Asian shares were mixed Monday following positive economic data from the United States and China, with investors awaiting the outcome of a Beijing meeting debating major economic reforms.

Trading sentiment was buoyed by strong US jobs figures and by healthy industrial production figures out of China -- further evidence of a steady recovery from a slowdown earlier in the year.

Tokyo ended up 1.30 percent, or 183.04 points, at 14,269.84, Sydney closed down 0.25 percent, or 13.6 points, at 5,387.1 and Seoul ended down 0.38 percent, or 7.57 points, at 1,977.3.

Hong Kong closed up 1.43 percent, or 325.46 points at 23,069.85 after staging a late afternoon rally.

Shanghai was more cautious, closing up 0.16 percent or 3.34 points at 2,109.47.

In the Philippines, which is reeling from the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan which smashed into the archipelago on Friday, the Manila market ended down 1.42 percent after slumping 2.4 percent earlier in the day.

Authorities fear more than 10,000 people may have been killed by the storm.

On Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1.08 percent at a fresh record of 15,761.78. It was lifted by figures which showed the world's biggest economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double what analysts forecast.

The positive figures, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown last month, are another sign of economic improvement.

Investors are wary that a recovery could encourage the Federal Reserve to decide to reduce its $85 billion a month asset-purchase programme, which has flooded international markets with extra cash, by the end of the year.

But SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi said: "Equity sentiment remains generally strong globally -- enough so to resist the fear of Fed tapering for now."

China's industrial output grew by 10.3 percent year-on-year in October, weekend figures showed.

The figures were published as the country's leaders on Saturday began a meeting in Beijing to chart the direction of the economy for the next decade.

Analysts have played down the prospect of firm measures, since such gatherings tend to unveil general principles rather than concrete policies

"What the market fears the most is uncertainty, and with unknown policy changes afoot, perhaps even including the speeding up of approvals of IPOs, many investors have decided to stay out of the market," Deng Wenyuan, an analyst at Soochow Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In Asian forex trade, the dollar was at 98.94 yen from 99.04 yen in New York Friday. The euro was at $1.3370 against $1.3412 and at 132.27 yen compared with 131.65 yen.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for December delivery, was up 18 cents to $94.78 in afternoon Asian trade. Brent North Sea crude for December rose 26 cents to $105.38.

Gold was down at $1,285.40 per ounce at 0815 GMT compared with $1,308.89 on Friday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei fell 0.57 percent, or 47.03 points, to 8,182.56.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 1.42 percent lower at Tw$104.5 while Hon Hai Precision gained 1.35 percent to Tw$74.9.

-- Wellington ended down 0.59 percent, or 29.19 points, to 4,922.17.

Air New Zealand slipped 0.61 percent at NZ$1.63, Contact Energy was down 2.13 percent to NZ$5.05 and Chorus was up 2.75 percent at NZ$2.055.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131111/asian-shares-mixed-after-positive-us-china-data-1