Asian shares gain as geopolitical tensions subside

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mostly higher on Tuesday, tracking rallies on Wall Street and in Europe as easing geopolitical tensions lifted investor confidence.

Tokyo gained 0.20 per cent, or 30.79 points, to 15,161.31, extending its recovery from sharp falls last week fuelled by Washington's announcement that it had authorised air strikes in Iraq.

Sydney jumped 1.34 per cent, or 73.3 points, to 5,530.3 while Seoul rose 0.10 per cent, or 2.10 points, to 2,041.47. But Hong Kong was trading flat and Shanghai was down 0.19 per cent in the afternoon as investors locked in profits following recent gains. Bangkok was closed for a public holiday.

US President Barack Obama, who reluctantly ordered the air strikes last week to beat, back rampaging Islamic State extremists, welcomed the nomination of a new Iraqi prime minister on Monday to replace controversial leader Nuri al-Maliki.

Investors were also tracking the crisis in conflict-torn Ukraine as concerns persisted over a possible Russian military incursion.

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Aaj Kal