BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday amid optimism about a possible Chinese recovery and concern over a possible U.S. attack on Syria.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index, the regional heavyweight, shed early gains to flatten out at 14,425.07 points while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent at 22,898.16. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent to 2,003.85.
Traders were encouraged by signs China, an important market for its Asian neighbors, is recovering from its deepest economic slump since the 2008 global crisis. Markets were buoyed by data Tuesday that showed Chinese auto sales, factory output and investment all improved in August.
Those indicators "cemented the view that the China economy has stabilized," said DBS Bank in a report.
Citigroup raised its China growth forecast for the current quarter to 7.8 percent from 7.4 percent but warned that the rebound could be short-lived.
Elsewhere, Sydney's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent to 5,234.40 and India's Sensex shed 0.5 percent to 19,905.09. Benchmarks in Bangkok and Manila rose while Singapore and Jakarta declined.
Optimism was tempered by President Barack Obama's comments in a speech Tuesday in which he ordered the American military to stay prepared to attack Syria if needed.
That came after tensions that had pushed up oil prices eased Monday on hopes for a diplomatic solution following Syria's announcement it would accept a Russian plan to turn over its chemical weapons.
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