| GEO Business|
| Asian stock markets fall after muted US session|
| Updated at: 0818 PST, Tuesday, April 27, 2010|
TOKYO: Most Asian stock markets declined Tuesday after a directionless day on Wall Street as investors awaited earnings from some of the region's biggest companies.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.4 percent to 11,119.5 as investors took profits after a big jump Monday. Sentiment was also cautious ahead of earnings reports from big Japanese companies over the next few weeks.
Due out Tuesday are financial results from Sharp Corp., mobile carrier Softbank Corp. and automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 1.2 percent to 21,302.31. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to 1,748.54 despite data showing that the country's economic growth accelerated sharply in the first quarter of 2010. Gross domestic product expanded 1.8 percent in the January-March period from the fourth quarter last year.
Benchmarks in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore also declined.
Australian shares bucked the trend, with the S&P/ASX 200 edging up less than 0.1 percent to 4,883.30 on gains in mining shares. Rio Tinto Ltd. rose 0.2 percent, and rival BHP Billiton Ltd. added 0.3percent.
In New York on Monday, shares eked out a tiny gain after strong earnings reports overshadowed questions about financial regulation. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.75 point, or less than 0.1percent, to 11,205.03.
Investors also got some reassurance about Greece's debt problems. The Greek government on Friday said it wanted to tap a rescue package from 15 European countries and the International Monetary Fund.
Oil prices fell in Asia with benchmark crude for June delivery down 58 cents at $83.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In currencies, the dollar slipped to 93.82 yen from 93.98 yen late Monday. The euro was trading at $1.3375 from $1.3394.