Asian markets were mostly flat or lower on Tuesday as traders took a breather from recent rallies and Wall Street provided a weak lead. Tokyo closed mixed as profit-taking offset earlier gains on a weaker yen. The Nikkei 225 index inched up 0.04 per cent or 3.54 points to 9,014.25. The euro had hit a five-month high of 104.60 yen in morning trade — extending a surge in New York late Monday following data which showed a sharp drop in Japanese exports. Sydney closed flat, adding just 2.1 points to end at 4,543.1, while South Korea ended 0.76 per cent or 14.78 points lower at 1,926.81. Chinese shares ended down 0.86 per cent, or 18.31 points, at 2,114.45 as investors await a turnaround in the domestic economy. “We still think there’s more downside risk in the near term,” Gold State Securities analyst Li Lei told Dow Jones Newswires. “Beijing is unlikely to introduce more supportive measures to bolster growth ahead of the 18th Party Congress,” he added. Hong Kong and Bangkok were closed for public holidays. Global markets have surged in recent months after a series of policy-easing moves in the United States, Europe and Japan as well as last week’s figures indicating a pick-up in China. But investors are treading carefully as the Asian corporate earnings season approaches, with many concerned that the global slowdown will have had a detrimental impact on profits. The weak yen follows Japan’s Monday announcement of the worst September trade figures in more than 30 years, hit by the global slowdown and a territorial dispute with China. The euro fell back from its morning rally and was buying 104.06 yen in morning European trade compared with 104.43 yen in New York late Monday. The dollar stood at 79.89 yen, compared with 79.95 yen. It had hit 79.99 yen at one point in Tokyo, its highest since early July. The euro bought $1.3022 in Europe, compared with $1.3060 in New York. Wall Street put in an anaemic performance after the world’s largest heavy equipment maker Caterpillar provided guidance for 2012 and 2013 that was below estimates, despite seeing its best third quarter. The Dow and S&P 500 ended flat, while the tech-strong Nasdaq gained 0.38 percent. Oil prices were lower, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, losing 32 cents to $88.83 33 in the afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell 23 cents to $109.21. Gold was at $1,710.66 at 1035 GMT compared with $1,724.50 late Monday.