Asian stocks closed mixed on 18 April with investors continuing to consolidate positions despite sharp gains on Wall Street overnight amid an easing of jitters over interest rates.
The Dow Jones made solid gains on corporate earnings and the release of inflation data which showed core inflation was running within comfort levels and this got Asia Pacific markets off to a positive start.
Shanghai, Sydney and Seoul closed at record highs while Tokyo gained 0.80%, Taipei 0.55% and Wellington was up 0.39% while Hong Kong closed flat.
However, elsewhere investors were content to continue cashing-up on recent sharp gains and Singapore fell 0.44%, Bangkok shed 0.40%, Jakarta down 0.29%, Kuala Lumpur by 0.12% and Manila fell 0.69%.
In tokyo share prices closed up 0.80% as bargain hunters emerged after the Dow Jones flirted with an all-time record high overnight following upbeat earnings news. The Nikkei-225 index advanced 139.88 points to 17,667.33. Toyota Motor was up 80 yen at 7,330.
In Hong Kong share prices closed flat as the market went into consolidation mode after gaining nearly 450 points in the last two sessions.
Share prices in Shanghai inched up to yet another record finish on sustained fund inflows as investors waited for a key set of first quarter economic figures due on 19 April.
Dealers said most expect the data to show the runaway economy picking up speed once again, with overall growth likely running at 11% or more after 10.4% in the last three months of 2006.
The view is that another strong set of figures will prompt the authorities to tighten monetary policy again, after having raised interest rates only last month, and take other measures to cool some of the hottest sectors.