Asian stocks mixed ahead of US bank 'stress tests'

Asian markets were mixed Tuesday after the previous day's big rally as investors turned cautious ahead of the US government's "stress tests" for the 19 largest American financial companies later this week. Global markets surged Monday amid signs of recovery in China, India and the US, with several Asian markets soaring more than 5 percent. Wall Street also advanced strongly on news of better-than-expected increases in US home sales and construction spending in March. But on Tuesday, investors wanted more assurances before bidding up stocks higher and seemed to be looking for chances to pocket recent gains. US stock index futures were lower and oil prices declined. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index flitted in and out of positive territory. By midday, it was up 20.75 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,401.80, after surging 5.5 percent the previous day. Mainland China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.2 percent lower to 2,555.28 by the lunch break, while India's Sensex was down 0.7 percent after jumping 6.4 percent Monday. Australia's main index climbed 0.6 percent to 3,904.8 on the back of higher commodities prices, and Singapore's Straits Times index rose 1.3 percent.