Asian shares mixed on Japan and China data

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Asian shares were mixed on Thursday after trade data from the world's third-largest economy, Japan, showed that global demand was picking up.

Japan's exports rose more than expected, by 9.6% in October from a year ago, which was the fastest pace since February.

That compared with a 6.9% year-on-year rise in September.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 0.07% at 17,300.86 points, after closing down 0.3% on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai shares closed flat after a survey showed that China's factory sector stalled in November with output contracting for the first time in six months.

The flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a six-month low of 50 from a final reading of 50.4 in October.

The reading was also well below market expectations of 50.3. The factory output sub-index fell to 49.5, the first contraction since May.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The Shanghai Composite closed just 1.67 points higher at 2,452.66 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.10% at 23,349.64 points.

Elsewhere in the region, Australian shares traded down as the resources sector saw more pressure from falling iron ore and coal prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.98% at 5316.24 points.

Shares of heavyweight miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto closed the Australian trading day down 2.66% and 2.71% respectively.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi ended 0.45% lower at 1958.04 points, despite data showing that the country's short-term foreign debt burden had eased over the last quarter.

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