Asia lower, Shanghai off 0.9%, ASX down 1.4% – CNBC

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Asia markets were mostly lower Tuesday morning, tracking U.S. equities’ weak performance overnight, with some analysts saying traders are turning more cautious after the recent market rally.

The Nikkei 225 was flat, after wavering between positive and negative territories in morning trade. In South Korea, the Kospi gave up early gains to trade down 0.11 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.64 percent.

Chinese markets were mixed, with the Shanghai composite off by 0.88 percent and the Shenzhen composite down 0.69 percent.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index was lower by 1.43 percent, weighed by losses in the energy sub-index, which fell 2.48 percent, and the financials sub-index, which was 1.57 percent lower.

Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist for fixed income, currencies and commodities at the National Australia Bank, said in a note Tuesday that recent trading suggest markets have turned to a more “cautiously optimistic mode,” following the delayed positive reaction to the European Central Bank’s fresh stimulus last week.

Catril said while Asia and European equities extended their gains on Monday, U.S. stocks reflected “a more hesitant mood.”

“This cautious mode has … been reflected in currencies with the safe haven Japanese yen the only (small) outperformer against the U.S. dollar,” he wrote.

Mark Matthews, head of research for Asia at Julius Baer, added in a morning note the world economy is essentially unchanged from where it was in mid-February. But for markets, Matthews said much has changed and many prices are up in the double digits. He warned, “If you weren’t bullish a month ago, you probably shouldn’t get too bullish now.”

Asia lower, Shanghai off 0.9%, ASX down 1.4% – CNBC}