Asian shares mixed in quiet trading as US takes holiday

Markets Associated Press

Asian shares were mixed in quiet trading on Tuesday after U.S. markets were closed for the Labor Day holiday.

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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent to 17,081.98 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,065.95. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.4 percent to 23,743.20 and India's Sensex jumped 0.9 percent to 28,800.66. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.4 percent to 3,060.83 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent, to 5,348.28.

JAPAN STIMULUS: The Bank of Japan is reviewing its ultra-lax monetary easing, which has taken the central bank's policy rate into negative territory. In a speech Monday, Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda offered mixed signals on policy direction. The upshot was "it is logical to infer that the Bank will conduct further easing," to achieve Japan's 2 percent inflation target, said Hiroshi Ugai of JP Morgan in Tokyo. "Kuroda did not share the view that there is a limit to monetary easing," he added.

G-20: The Group of 20 major economies wrapped up their annual summit, held in Hangzhou, China, with a stronger commitment to coordinate policies to support growth and promote trade liberalization. The gathering also launched a new initiative to work on curbing excess steel production capacity, especially in China, which may help smooth tensions over the issue.

GLOBAL MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX ended 0.1 percent lower at 10,672.22 while the CAC-40 fell 0.02 percent to 4,541.08. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares finished the session 0.2 percent lower at 6,879.42.

ENERGY: Oil prices pushed ahead amid speculation of a production freeze after the world's two largest oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, agreed to act together to stabilize global oil output. It's unclear what that may entail though. Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 88 cents to $45.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.28 to $44.44 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, rose 21 cents to $47.84 a barrel.

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CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1146 from $1.1150, and the dollar climbed to 103.65 yen from 103.39 yen.