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Asia shares mostly down despite record highs in the US



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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 20 Oct 2017, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
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Asian shares were mostly down on Thursday despite US stocks hitting record highs after Republicans took control of the US Congress.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.86% at 16,792.48 points after five days of gains.

Analysts cited profit-taking for the fall, as investors looked to lock-in the gains triggered by the Bank of Japan's stimulus move.

The yen also recovered some ground against the dollar.

After the dollar hit a fresh seven-year high of 115.52 against the yen, the yen then strengthened to 114.39.

"Hedge funds are now closing positions after the Bank of Japan's additional easing," said Myoto Asset Management Japan's chief executive, Makoto Kikuchi.

"They think stocks are unlikely to rise further," he added.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed at 5,506.10, down 0.21%, despite news that employment figures had rebounded in October.

Government data showed that Australia added an estimated 24,100 jobs in October, recovering from a revised 23,700 drop in September. But concerns about the reliability of the data, which has been revised a few times in past months, weighed on investor sentiment.

In Greater China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.2% at 23,649.31 points, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite index ended the day up 0.27% at 2,425.86 points.

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed up 0.26% at 1,936.48 points.