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Asia markets mixed, Nikkei dips on profit taking

HONG KONG--Asian markets began the week on a mixed note Monday, with the Nikkei sinking on profit taking after breaking 11,000 in early trade, while a rally on Wall Street boosted a buying incentive.

The euro and dollar eased slightly against the yen after climbing in New York trade, while traders took heart from upbeat news from Europe, with indications that the troubled eurozone is slowly emerging from years of crisis.

Tokyo surged above the 11,000 mark for the first time since April 2010 in the morning as the yen extended its recent downward trend but profit taking soon took hold and the index ended down 0.94 percent, or 102.34 points, at 10,824.31.

Seoul dipped 0.36 percent, or 6.98 points, to 1,939.71, while Hong Kong added 0.39 percent, or 91.45 points, to end at 23,671.88.

Shanghai surged 2.41 percent, or 55.21 points, to 2,346.51 after authorities said they would expand the number of securities for margin trading, boosting liquidity hopes.

Sydney and Kuala Lumpur were closed for public holidays.

In the United States another set of strong corporate results Friday — particularly Procter and Gamble and Halliburton — sent the Dow and S&P 500 surging.

The Dow rose 0.51 percent to its best level since October 2007 and the S&P 500 climbed 0.54 percent to finish above 1,500 points for the first time since December 2007, while the Nasdaq added 0.62 percent.

The advances came despite data showing a surprise fall in U.S. new home sales in December and a bigger-than-expected contraction in British economic growth.

Gold was at US$1,655.09 at 1055 GMT compared with US$1,669.20 late Friday.

In other markets:

— Manila closed 0.40 percent higher, adding 24.78 points to 6,192.42.

Energy Development Corp. gained 2.43 percent to 7.15 pesos while Manila Electric Co. rose 3.37 percent to 294.20 pesos but Ayala Corp. fell 0.27 percent to 550 pesos.

— Wellington rose 0.11 percent, or 4.62 points, to 4,204.44.

Fletcher Building gained 0.11 percent to NZ$9.21, Trade Me added 0.24 percent to NZ$4.15 and Telecom put on 0.21 percent to NZ$2.39.

— Singapore gained 0.14 percent, or 4.60 points, to 3,273.91.

United Overseas Bank slid 0.32 percent to SG$18.80 and Jardine Cycle and Carriage shed 0.80 percent to SG$51.83.

— Jakarta lost 0.47 percent, or 20.66 points, to 4,416,94.

Tin miner Timah slipped 2.44 percent to 1,600 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur rose 0.83 percent to 6,050 rupiah.

— Bangkok rose 0.73 percent, or 10.64 points, to close at 1,472.05.

Communications giant True Corp. leapt 9.32 percent to 6.45 baht while Bangkok Bank climbed 4.95 percent to 212 baht.

— Mumbai ended flat, edging down 0.18 points to 20,103.35.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp. fell 1.76 percent to 335 rupees while Reliance Industries fell 1.56 percent to 897.65 rupees.

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