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Asian stocks mixed as oil declines

A retreat in crude prices left investors in a ponderous mood about the health of the global economy.

Asian stocks mixed as oil declines

Markets in Asia traded mixed on Monday in morning session as a retreat in oil prices left investors in a ponderous mood about the health of the global economy.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2%. The South Korean Kospi gave up early gains to trade 0.24% lower, while Down Under, the ASX 200 was lower by 0.55%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.38%, with shares of Standard Chartered bank surging 8.33%, following gains in the bank's shares in London trading on Friday.

Chinese markets traded up, with the Shanghai composite higher by 1.74%, while the Shenzhen composite added 1.79%.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225, which shed 1.25% on Friday to close at 16,725, was closed for a public holiday.

Oil prices slipped for a second day on Monday, extending Friday's slide of over 1% after the US rig count rose for the first time since December, renewing worries of a supply glut after an output freeze proposal had helped boost the market to 2016 highs.

Energy plays in Asia were mixed, with Santos down 2.59% and Woodside Petroleum shedding 1.35%, while mainland shares of China's Sinopec up 1.68%.

In company news, major Australian miners traded lower, with shares of Rio Tinto down 0.91% and BHP Billiton lower by 1.05%, while the country's so-called Big Four banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and NAB - were down between 0.34% and 1.46%.

South Korean blue chip stocks were mixed, with Samsung Electronics erasing early gains to trade lower by 0.31%, Kepco up 0.84% and Hyundai Motor higher by 1%.

In currencies, the US dollar index was little changed at 95.042, not far from a five-month trough of 94.578 set on Friday.

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