Stocks mostly down, but not in the way

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Stocks mostly down, but not in the way

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - It was a somewhat directionless day on Asian stock markets on Thursday.

There were strong gains in New Zealand, but there was not a lot of trading elsewhere.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 227.53 points or 0.83 percent to 27,232 in Japan. 82.

The Australian All Ordinaries rose by 1.80 points or 0.02 percent to 7,574. 80.

The Kospi Composite edged up 14.41 points or 0.53 percent to 2,744 in Seoul, South Korea. 09.

In New Zealand, the S&P NZ 50 advanced by 134.93 points or 1.11 percent to 12,256. 82.

China's Shanghai Composite was virtually unchanged, down a fraction of a single point in the final minutes of trading.

In the final half-hour of trade, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was off 50 points.

The U.S. dollar had a quiet day on Thursday. The euro was close to 1.1363 at the Sydney close. The British pound was in demand at 1.3588. The Japanese yen fell to 115.30 The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9222.

The Canadian dollar was slightly lower at 1.2706. The Australian dollar fell to 0.7191. The New Zealand dollar was stronger at 0.6690.

The Dow Jones fell 54.57 points or 0.16 percent over the night to close Wednesday at 34,934 on Wall Street. 27.

The Standard and Poor's 500 went up 3.94 points or 0.09 percent to 4,475. 01.

The Nasdaq Composite fell 15.66 points or 0.11 percent to 14,124. 09.