Asian shares hovered near their 10-month peaks on Wednesday as investors wait for more company earnings, but China's CSCEC made a blockbuster listing in Shanghai.
Stock indices in Australia, Japan and South Korea fluctuated in and out of the red and the MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> slipped 0.4 percent, flagging after this week's run-up to a 10-month high.
But shares in China State Construction Engineering Corp <601668.SS>, whose $7.3 billion initial public offering last week was the world's largest in a year, jumped 60 percent on debut, besting expectations -- but also stirring concerns about asset price bubbles.
It was the second big listing in Shanghai since China resumed IPOs last month, and followed on the heels of Sichuan Expressway's <601107.SS><0107.HK> runaway success on Monday.
Such strong debuts of new listings will become a great boost for forthcoming IPOs, though worries have also strengthened of overall high valuations of the market, said Qian Qimin, deputy head of research at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities in Shanghai.
Local-currency A shares in CSCEC, China's biggest homebuilder, kicked off trading at 6.70 yuan, well above their IPO price of 4.18 yuan, and then climbed to 90 percent above the public offer price within 15 minutes of trade. The Shanghai Composite Index <.SSEC> however rose just 0.4 percent after closing at a 14-month high on Tuesday.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei average <.N225> edged up 0.2 percent, after snapping a nine-day advance on Tuesday, its longest string of consecutive gains since 1988.
Digital camera maker Canon <7751.T> gained after nudging up its profit outlook while JFE Holdings <5411.T>, the world's No.5 steelmaker, climbed 3.9 percent after it forecast a full-year profit and Goldman Sachs raised its rating to buy from sell.
It's natural that the market takes a breather due to investor fatigue after a nine-day winning streak and caution before earnings reports, said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, manager at SMBC Friend Securities.
But foreign investors appear to have a bullish view on the outlook for the stock markets and that's providing support to blue-chip stocks and a solid floor for the Nikkei.
Australian shares fluctuated, with top investment bank Macquarie Group
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index <.AXJO> eased 0.1 percent after touching its highest close since November 5.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> closed down 0.13 percent at 9,096.72 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 0.26 percent but the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 0.39 percent.
In the currency markets, the dollar edged up from a low for the year set against a basket of currencies <.DXY> on Tuesday but failed to make much progress as resilience in share markets supported investor confidence, limiting the dollar's safe-haven appeal.
The euro was steady at $1.4187, not far off an eight-week high set the previous day, while the yen held gains made the previous day against the U.S. currency, standing at 94.50 yen per dollar.
Oil futures dropped below $67 a barrel, extending the previous day's decline after industry data showed a larger-than-expected increase in crude inventories last week.
Shorter-dated U.S. Treasury debt prices edged up after falling on Tuesday following weak results at a record $42 billion sale of two-year notes.
The auction cast doubt on investor appetite for U.S. government debt and made the market nervous about big auctions of five-year notes on Wednesday and seven-year notes on Thursday.
(Editing by Tomasz Janowski)