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Asian shares mixed ahead of key data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Asian markets were mixed in edgy trade on Tuesday following a pick-up on Wall Street as investors await key economic news from around the world later in the week.

The dollar maintained the gains against the yen it achieved in New York as dealers took in their stride a new wave of sanctions against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.

Hong Kong was flat and Shanghai added 0.27 percent, while Sydney eased 0.11 percent and Seoul was 0.33 percent lower. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.

US shares mostly bounced back on Monday after tumbling at the end of last week, with attention now on a Federal Reserve announcement Wednesday on plans for its stimulus programme.

On Friday non-farm payrolls data will be released, giving a handle on the state of the world's number one economy.

Friday will also see the release of surveys of manufacturing activity from around the world, with the main focus on China. Dealers are hoping for signs that a recent slowdown in the Asian economic giant has bottomed out.

On Wall Street the Dow added 0.53 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.32 percent but the Nasdaq dipped 0.03 percent.

There was little reaction to another round of US sanctions against seven Russian officials and 17 Kremlin-linked firms. The European Union said it was adding 15 names to its own list.

The Western sanctions are a response to Russia's perceived failure to implement an April 17 deal struck in Geneva to defuse the crisis.

Seoul was dragged down by market major Samsung Electronics, which sank 1.60 percent in the morning after saying operating profit fell for a second straight quarter owing to slowing sales of its smartphones.

In forex trade the dollar bought 102.50 yen, compared with 102.45 yen late in New York but well up from 102.20 yen earlier Monday in Asia.

The euro fetched $1.3859 against $1.3851, while it was also at 142.05 yen from 141.95 yen.

Oil was up in Asia. US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, climbed five cents to $100.89 in early Asian trading. Brent North Sea crude for June also rose 10 cents to $108.22.

Gold fetched $1,295.34 an ounce at 0210 GMT compared with $1,301.45 on Monday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140429/asian-shares-mixed-ahead-key-data