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Asian stocks muted

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Tokyo - SPA

Shares were lackluster in Asia on Wednesday as investors waited for major earnings reports and took stock of a torrid start to the year for markets, AP reported.The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo slipped 0.7 percent to 14,742.36 after big gains the previous day.The Japanese benchmark surged 3.1 percent on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan topped up its already lavish monetary stimulus by doubling the size of funds to support bank lending and economic growth. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was virtually unchanged at 22,594.54 as traders awaited earnings reports from such heavyweights as insurer AIA and banking giant HSBC.South Korea's Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 1,938.30. Shares in Taiwan and Malaysia fell while prices rose in Australia, New Zealand, mainland China and Indonesia.The markets are regrouping, said Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong.Stocks made impressive gains last year but sold off sharply in the opening weeks of 2014. Some of January's losses were since recouped."After the recent bull run there is some consolidation, but the market is still positive," Yip said.On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 2.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,840.76 and the Nasdaq composite rose 28.76 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,272.78. In currencies, the euro barely budged at $1.3766 from $1.3767 late Tuesday. The dollar inched down to 102.21 yen from 102.25 yen.

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