Asian markets mostly fell on Wednesday after US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke warned of a further slowdown in the US economy and a "frustratingly slow" rise in employment.
Hong Kong was down 1.11 percent, or 215.45 points, at 19,239.88 but Shanghai rose 0.37 percent, or 7.91 points, to 2,169.10.
In testimony to Congress Bernanke offered a gloomy outlook for the United States, warning that after growth of around just two percent in January-March, "available indicators point to a still-smaller gain in the second quarter".
"Given that growth is projected to be not much above the rate needed to absorb new entrants into the labour force, the reduction in the unemployment rate seems likely to be frustratingly slow," he added.
The comments weighed on already nervous traders, who have also been hit by ongoing concerns over the eurozone and weakness in the Chinese economy.
Despite Bernanke's comments there was a positive close on Wall Street, where investors seemed to focus on the prospects for further stimulus measures from the Fed.
The Dow gained 0.62 percent, the S&P 500 advanced 0.74 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.45 percent.
The Nikkei was also given support by minutes from the Bank of Japan, which showed some board members at the latest policy board meeting said it "should not dismiss any policy options" to mitigate risks caused by Europe's debt crisis.
That could be taken to indicate further monetary easing in Japan.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was hit by a 2.06 percent fall in HSBC, its single largest constituent, after the top executive in charge of the bank's anti-money laundering programmes resigned following a Senate probe into risky practices.
On currency markets the euro fetched $1.2279 in early European trade, compared with $1.2292 in New York late Tuesday. The European currency fell to 97.03 yen from 97.23 yen.
The dollar was quoted at 79.04 yen, from 79.10 yen.
Oil slipped, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, down 57 cents to $88.65 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for September delivery fell 64 cents to $103.36.
Gold was at $1,579.18 an ounce at 1040 GMT, from $1,595.60 on Tuesday.
In other markets:
-- Singapore ended flat, edging up 2.41 points to 3,017.21.
-- Taipei fell 1.09 percent, or 77.95 points, to 7,049.05.
Hon Hai Precision lost 1.69 percent to end at Tw$87.0 while leading smartphone maker HTC eased 1.68 percent to Tw$293.0.
-- Manila closed 1.22 percent lower, giving up 64.57 points to 5,220.55.
-- Wellington closed 0.15 percent, or 5.19 points, higher at 3,474.06.
-- Jakarta was almost unchanged, nudging 0.96 points up to 4,081.64.
-- Kuala Lumpur added 0.36 percent, or 5.85 points, to 1,645.00.
Top lender Malayan Banking gained 0.34 percent to 8.77 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia added 1.63 percent to 6.25 ringgit. Newly listed telecoms services provider OCK Group lost 1.12 percent to 0.44 ringgit.
-- Bangkok closed 0.33 percent lower, losing 4.07 points to 1,220.14.
BANPU dropped 0.43 percent to 464.00 Baht, while PTT gained 1.19 percent to 340.00 Baht.
-- Mumbai rose 0.47 percent, or 79.71 points, to 17,185.01.
Source: AFP Asian Edition