Shares mixed after new Dow record

HONG KONG — Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, with another record-breaking close on Wall Street offset by profit-taking after the previous day's healthy gains.

The euro was slightly firmer after taking a hit from a survey which showed German investor sentiment at an 18-month low, raising concerns about Europe's biggest economy.

Tokyo eased 0.14%, or 19.68 points, to 14,405.76, Sydney was flat, dipping 1.7 points to 5,496.5, and Shanghai eased 0.14% or 2.82 points to 2,047.91.

Seoul closed 1.41% higher, adding 27.90 points to 2,010.83. Hong Kong advanced 1.03%, or 230.39 points to 22,582.77.

Traders took their foot off the pedal after Tuesday's rally in Asia, which was inspired by a big pick-up on Wall Street thanks to advances in technology shares.

In New York, the Dow and S&P 500 extended Monday's gains on Tuesday despite weaker than expected retail sales data.

The Dow added 0.12% and the S&P 500 edged up 0.04%, both setting new closing records, but the Nasdaq dipped 0.33% after surging 1.77% on Monday.

US retail and food services sales rose a mere 0.1% in April, softer than the 0.3% gain expected by analysts. However, the March increase was upwardly revised to 1.5% from the prior estimate of 1.2%.

In foreign exchange trade the euro edged up against the dollar after falling below the $1.370 level on Tuesday in New York for the first time since February.

Dealers were spooked by data showing investment sentiment in Germany in May at the lowest level since January 2013, as concerns grow that the region's top economy is losing momentum.

The euro bought $1.3715 against $1.3701 late in New York, while it was at 139.99 yen compared with 140.12 yen.

The dollar was trading at 102.06 yen compared with 102.26 yen in New York.

Oil prices rose. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, was up 36 cents at $102.06 in afternoon trade. Brent North Sea crude for June gained 34 cents to $109.58 per barrel.

Gold fetched $1,300.10 an ounce at 0805 GMT compared with $1,291.74 late on Monday.

In other markets, Taipei rose 0.65%, or 57.22 points, to 8,875.16. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co jumped 1.24% to T$122 while smartphone maker HTC was 0.93% higher at T$163.

Wellington put on 0.27%, or 14.02 points, to 5,213.40.

Manila closed 0.40% higher, adding 27.63 points to 6,880.44. Metropolitan Bank and Trust was unchanged at 86 pesos while Ayala Land rose 1.88% to 32.60 pesos.

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