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Asia Stocks Cool Off Following Gains Last Week

The move caused a jump in bank shares - Deutsche Bank rose 2.8 percent but the biggest gains were among ailing Spanish banks, which some had feared would struggle to meet the new cash requirements. Bankinter soared 9.2 percent and Banco Popular gained 2.1 percent higher.

The subdued mood in the broader markets was also seen earlier in Asia. The Nikkei in Tokyo fell 0.8 percent to close at 10,599.01.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 23,329.75. South Korea's Kospi lost less than 0.1 percent to 2,011.25. Benchmarks in Singapore and Taiwan fell while mainland Chinese shares rose. Weakness in Australian's resource sector sent the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney 0.1 percent lower to 4,717.30.

South Korean and Taiwanese companies that were fined by China last week for fixing prices of LCD display screens saw their stocks tumble Monday. Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp. fell 5.1 percent. HannStar Display Corp. fell 4.7 percent. South Korea's LG Display fell 2.6 percent.

In commodity markets, the benchmark crude oil contract for February delivery was 14 cents lower at $92.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currencies, the euro edged 0.2 percent higher at $1.3105 while the dollar dropped against the Japanese yen, to 87.69 yen from 88.13 yen on Friday.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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