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Asia Stocks Down On US Manufacturing Report

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent to close at 9,432.46. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent to 21,799.97. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,935.18. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8 percent to 1,975.14. The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index added 1.3 percent to 743.62.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.6 percent to 4,503.60 after the Reserve Bank of Australia, as expected, cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3 percent, its lowest level since the global financial crisis.

The bank voiced concerns for the Australian economy amid uncertainty over the United States' fiscal policy and stubbornly weak conditions in Europe.

Australia's Newcrest Mining Ltd. fell 1.8 percent and Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. sank 2.9 percent.

Elsewhere, struggling electronics maker Sharp gained 1.2 percent in Tokyo. Japanese news reports said Sharp and U.S. mobile phone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. have reached a basic agreement on a capital and business tie-up.

Benchmark oil for January delivery was down 15 cents to $88.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents to close at $89.09 in New York on Monday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3068 from $1.3060 late Monday in New York. The dollar fell to 82.01 yen from 82.24 yen.

___

Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pamelasampson

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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