| Updated at: 1526 PST, Wednesday, April 27, 2011|
HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed Wednesday despite a solid lead from Wall Street following strong earnings by top US firms, with traders in Japan ignoring a cut in the country's debt rating outlook.
Trade was muted ahead of a key policy decision by the US Federal Reserve, while dealers also had an eye on the release of corporate results in Japan, which began after the market closed.
Tokyo gained 1.39 percent, with the Nikkei up 133.15 points at 9,691.84. South Korean shares closed flat, trimming earlier gains, with the benchmark KOSPI up 0.40 points at 2,206.70. Sydney ended 0.83 percent weaker on concerns over falling metals prices and higher inflation, analysts said. The S&P/ASX 200 was down 40.9 points at 4,872.9. Consumer prices rose 1.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in March, above estimates of a 1.2 percent spike, and jumped 3.3 percent from a year earlier.
Hong Kong shares fell 0.48 percent, mirroring losses on the mainland amid rising concerns that Beijing will introduce fresh measures to rein in property prices. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 114.84 points to 23,892.84. The Shanghai Composite Index ended 13.57 points, or 0.46 percent, lower at 2,925.41. Both markets had been up by lunch time.
Investors around the region took their early trading cues from Wall Street where the Dow jumped 0.93 percent to a near three-year high on Tuesday following more strong earnings reports from corporate America.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 0.77 percent and the S&P 500, a broad measure of the markets, added 0.90 percent.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded its outlook on Japan's debt to negative from stable, citing the impact of last month's devastating earthquake-tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis. It also said the cost of rebuilding could range from 20 trillion yen to 50 trillion yen ($245 billion to $612 billion).
The greenback was at 81.73 yen in Tokyo, slightly up from 81.55 in New York late Tuesday. The euro was at $1.4681 from $1.4636 while the single currency rose to 119.99 yen from 119.38 yen. (AFP)