Asia shares mostly higher despite Wall Street fall

In this Nov. 3, 2010 photo, specialists Anthony Sherman, left, and Bernard Wheeler work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian markets were mostly higher Friday despite a negative cue from Wall Street with Japanese shares rising amid a respite from strength in the yen.

Asia’s gains followed losses in U.S. benchmarks where investors shifted from stocks to commodities such as silver and copper. There are fears the Federal Reserve’s plan to sink $600 billion into buying bonds could eventually drive up inflation, and hard commodities are seen by some as a safe haven.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average was up 126.56 points, or 1.3 percent, at 9,818.50 as the dollar rose to near 82 yen, boosting exporters.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.8 percent to 1,963.33 and Taiwan’s benchmark gained 0.1 percent to 8,450.63. Markets in Indonesia and Malaysia were also higher.

Among declining markets, China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.2 percent to 3,096.50 amid a report some banks have been forced to increase their reserves to cool lending. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.2 percent to 24,426.07.

Elsewhere, Australia’s SP/ASX 200 fell 0.9 percent to 4,699.80 and Singapore’s index shed 0.8 percent to 3,287.89. India’s Sensex was little changed.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.5 percent to 11,346.75, while the broader Standard Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.8 percent to 1,213.40. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 0.7 percent at 2,562.98.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 81.80 yen from 81.69 yen in New York late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.3762 from $1.3739.

Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 21 cents at $86.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 34 cents to settle at $86.72 on Tuesday.

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