Asian stocks mixed as Wall Street slips while Europe gains

<p>Asian markets were pulled in two directions.</p>

Asian stocks were mixed again today (March 25th) as Wall Street edged down on interest rate hike worries and eurozone shares gained on strong manufacturing data.

US investor sentiment was dampened by the strong dollar, as well as the prospect of higher US interest rates following improved economic data. The Dow and S&P both shed 0.6 per cent overnight.

Meanwhile, European stocks reached new highs on better-than-expected eurozone manufacturing data.

"It remains to be seen whether we are going through a period of equilibrium, where bulls and bears even each other out, or simply a period where traders are happy to ride out the end of a good quarter by staying on the sidelines," Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in Singapore wrote in a commentary seen by AP.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 per cent to 19,638.90 and South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.1 per cent to 2,040.23. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 per cent to 24,490.77 while the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China lost 1.1 per cent to 3,652.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 remained flat at 5,967.60.

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