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Asian shares mixed with Shanghai and Hong Kong up smartly

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Shutterstock photo - - Asian stocks were mixed on Monday with Hong Kong and Shanghai posting gains, but Australia weighed down by mining stocks, while earnings were in focus in Tokyo.

The region started the week with a downward bias as the positive lead from Wall Street--where the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a fresh high on Friday--was offset by renewed concerns over the Ukraine.

Over the weekend, pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine declared victory in a secession referendum, increasing tensions between the West and Moscow.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.15% with Olympus Corp. (TOKYO:7733) up 4% after the firm reported a doubling of its operating profit for the recently ended fiscal year.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.3% and South Korea's KOSPI was 0.2% lower. In Australia were weak after spot iron ore prices fell to a 20-month low, with BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP) down 1.2%, Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) 1% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) losing 2%.

On Tuesday in Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government will release its first federal budget. Also on Tuesday, China will publish industrial production data and retail sales figures for April.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.72% and the Shanghai Composite rose by 1.90%.

Last week, the Dow 30 ended at a record high 16,583.34, the S&P 500 index rose 0.15%, while the NASDAQ Composite rose 0.50%.

Technology and biotech shares have taken a beating in recent sessions, as investors have viewed the sector as too frothy, the beneficiaries of ultra-loose monetary policies and Federal Reserve stimulus programs that are tapering now and due to wrap up likely sometime this year.

Elsewhere, investors looked past escalating tensions in Ukraine. On Sunday pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine appeared to be on track to declare victory in a referendum Sunday that Kiev and the West say is illegal and riddled with irregularities.

The vote ratchets up tensions between the Kremlin, which may recognize the vote, and the nascent government in Kiev, which is struggling to regain control of the two provinces that it says Moscow is destabilizing through support of rebels. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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