Asian shares mixed as Nikkei rises on yen, muted elsewhere

Asian shares were mixed Tuesday, as investors awaited comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Japan's benchmark rose on optimism over a weak yen and a record finish on Wall Street.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.5 percent to 20,197.56 in early trading, coming off a national holiday Monday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up nearly 0.1 percent to 5,724.70. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,413.48. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little changed at 28,162.32, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.2 percent to 3,355.96.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 index rose 3.64 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,503.87. The Dow gained 63.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 22,331.35. Both indexes closed at new record highs as the market extended gains from last week.

THE QUOTE: "So what could whisk the rug from under optimistic investors' feet? Not much today, though as we noted yesterday, this happier more stable backdrop brings central banks back into play," says Rob Carnell, head of research in Asia of ING.

THE FED: Investors were looking ahead to the latest two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which begins Tuesday. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December. But traders will be listening for any indications the central bank could move sooner.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 cent to $49.92 a barrel. It rose 2 cents to $49.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 9 cents to $55.39 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.52 yen from 111.39 late Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1968 from $1.1945.


AP Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed to this report.

AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama can be reached at

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