Asian stocks mixed despite easing concerns on Syria

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HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Friday as upbeat US economic growth data and easing concerns about an imminent strike on Syria were offset by mild profit-taking following the previous day's gains.

The quiet trade brought an end to a torrid month for global shares and currencies dominated by fears over the end of the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme as well as the possibility of military action in the Middle East.

Tokyo eased 0.67 percent by the break, Hong Kong was 0.14 percent lower, Sydney added 0.27 percent and Seoul was 0.48 percent higher while Shanghai edged up 0.10 percent.

Wall Street provided a positive lead after the Commerce Department said the US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the April-June quarter, much better than the original estimate of 1.7 percent.

It said stronger consumer spending and exports underpinned the pickup from the first quarter's sluggish 1.1 percent pace, while exports were stronger and imports slower than originally estimated.

The Dow rose 0.11 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.20 percent and the Nasdaq increased 0.75 percent.

Investors were a little more buoyant as the likelihood of a US-led attack on Syria looked less imminent, as lawmakers in London voted against such a move.

And while the White House signalled it was ready to go it alone in punishing Syria for a deadly chemical attack on its civilians, analysts said they did not expect a strike

this weekend, as was initially thought.


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