SHANGHAI (AP) -- Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday, plagued by renewed worries over the European debt crisis and an overnight sell-off on Wall Street. European markets gained.
Early trading in Europe began on a positive note as France's CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent to 3,234.19, Germany's DAX added 0.7 percent to 6,653.16 and London's FTSE 100 gained 0.5 percent to 5,598.23.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 percent to close at 9,458.74 after dipping earlier in the day to its lowest level in about two months. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.1 percent to 20,140.67 and Seoul's Kospi edged 0.1 percent lower to 1,994.41.
Concern at weak data from China and the U.S. was compounded by fears over Spain's finances after the country's cost of borrowing crept closer to levels that have forced other countries to seek bailouts.
"The correction mainly reflects uncertainty over the situation in Europe, especially for Spain and Italy," said Samuel Chua, a senior vice president at KGI Securities in Hong Kong.
Chinese shares yo-yoed in a narrow range, as investors awaited the release later in the week of GDP data and other indicators. The Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.1 percent higher to 2,308.92.
"Investors are hoping for fresh monetary easing in the near future, but with the lingering inflationary pressure, the market will likely remain unstable," said Yang Yining, an analyst at Capital-edge Investment & Management Co., Ltd, based in Shanghai.
Elsewhere in Asia, benchmark indexes in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore were lower, while shares in Taiwan and India were higher.
The decline on Wall Street over the past five days wiped out more than half the first quarter gain of the Dow Jones industrial average, which fell 213.66 points Tuesday to close at 12,715.93, its lowest since Feb. 2.
Tepid hiring in March has fueled doubts that U.S. economic growth is strong enough to justify the recent rally in global stocks.
Markets will be closely watching for first quarter gross domestic product results, starting with China on Friday. China lowered its GDP growth target last month to 7.5 percent, sparking concern the world's second-largest economy is slowing faster than expected.
In Japan, Sony Corp.'s shares dropped 4.5 percent following news late Tuesday that the electronics giant more than doubled its projected net loss for the fiscal year through March to 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion), its worst loss ever, due to a massive tax charge.
In currency markets, the dollar was up 0.2 percent at 80.66 yen and the euro rose 0.4 percent to $1.3120.
Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 49 cents to $101.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.44 on Tuesday to $101.02.
Researcher Fu Ting contributed to this report.
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