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Asian Markets Mixed as Focus on French Election

Asian shares were mixed on Thursday after key earnings on Wall Street and as oil prices pared some losses after dropping to a two-week low. Investors are set to keep an eye on politics in Europe as tensions on the Korean peninsula appeared to have waned down.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index trimmed earlier advances and finished almost little changed at 18,430.49. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent at 2,149.15. Australia's ASX 200 climbed 0.3 percent at 5,821.4.

Mainland Chinese markets were also mixed as the Shanghai Composite added 0.06 percent at 3,172.5903 while the Shenzhen Composite fell 0.191 percent at 1,928.0897. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.36 percent.

The dollar moved lower to trade at 99.683 against a basket of peers. The greenback edged up against the Japanese yen, trading at 108.9 compared to the 108.4 handle seen the previous day.

Among shares active on corporate news, Australia's Rio Tinto said that iron ore production dropped three percent on year however, it maintained its full-year guidance. Shares of Rio Tinto advanced one percent in early deals but finished 0.39 percent lower at A$58.67 per stock.
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