Asian shares took a breather on Wednesday, struggling for traction as some investors locked in profits from the markets' recent rally while a bit of yen strength capped the upside for Japanese stocks.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average inched up 0.1% as the yen gained 0.2% to Y95.90 against the US dollar after hitting its lowest level since August 2009, the Financial Times reports.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.2% due to weakness in financial shares, while South Korea's Kospi Composite index added 0.1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite index was off 0.1%.
Trading was range-bound due to a dearth of market-moving events.
"Stabilisation on major developed-market bourses and declines in Chinese equities took some wind from the sails of the recent rally in sentiment," Crédit Agricole said in a research note.
During the US session, stocks struggled for traction as the bull run that has taken many equity barometers to multiyear or, in some cases, record highs endured one of its periodic pauses.
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