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London | Wall Street | Asia

Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, with geopolitical concerns creating uncertainty for investors.

On Tuesday, US stocks had been hit by news of the first US-led air strikes in Syria against Islamic State fighters.

Some Asian markets took their cue from the US, with Japan's Nikkei index closing down 0.2% at 16,167.45.

However, investor confidence in Hong Kong and China was helped by a better-than-expected survey of Chinese manufacturing activity.

This helped the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong to close up 0.35% at 23,921.61 while China's Shanghai Composite rose 1.5% to 2,343.57.

Shares of Chinese mobile phone operators were higher, on expectations of Apple's latest iPhone models being available on the mainland.

China Telecom shares rose 5.2% on local media reports that Apple's iPhone 6 is in the final stage of review for approval.

In Australia, the ASX 200 share index ended down 0.7% at 5,375.77.

Shares of National Australia Bank fell 1.4%. According to the Reuters news agency, Australia's fourth-largest lender is considering selling its insurance unit, which is valued at about $800m. The insurance business has been seen as a drag on the bank's earnings.

On Wall Street overnight, Alibaba shares fell 3% on profit taking. Alibaba shares started trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week at $92.70 per share - a 38% jump from the issue price of $68. The share sale raised $25bn for China's e-commerce giant.