Asian shares lower after falls on Wall Street

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Image source, AFP

Most Asian markets fell on Tuesday, tracking Monday's losses on Wall Street ahead of a wave of first quarter results from US companies.

Investors are worried about how a strengthening dollar and falling oil prices have affected profits.

Japan's Nikkei 225 recovered earlier losses to close flat at 19,908.68.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index - which has risen by almost 15% in the previous eight sessions - fell 1.6% to 27,561.49.

However, on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.3% at 4,135.56.

In Sydney, shares were lower, weighed down by the resources sector. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.3% at 5,942.8.

However, shares in Fortescue Metals were up 3.6%. The world's fourth-largest iron ore producer said it was changing its roster to get more work out of its miners, as it attempts to cut costs in a climate of falling commodity prices.

Bucking the regional trend, South Korean shares ended higher. The Kospi index rose 0.6% to 2,111.72, marking its highest close since August 2011.

The benchmark index was boosted by capital inflows and expectations that China, South Korea's biggest trading partner, would take steps to boost its economy.