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Asia stocks lackluster as China rate effect fades

SEOUL, South Korea - Asian stocks mostly fell Tuesday as the boost from China's surprise interest rate cuts faded while European markets were higher as investors awaited economic data.

France's CAC 40 was up 0.3 percent at 4,380.70 and Germany's DAX rose 0.8 percent to 9,858.78. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 6,736.36. Futures augured gains on Wall Street. Dow futures were up 0.1 percent at 17,816 and S&P 500 futures gained 0.1 percent to 2,070.

The U.S. Commerce Department is scheduled to release its second of three estimates of how fast the U.S. economy grew in the July-September quarter. The first estimate showed that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent, outpacing most other developed countries. Some analysts believed the estimate will be slightly lowered. Germany, the largest economy in the euro common currency area, will likely confirm its growth figure at 0.1 percent growth from the previous quarter.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5 percent to 5,334.80 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent to 23,843.91. Most Southeast Asian stock markets were lower but Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent to 17,407.62 and South Korea's Kospi inched up 0.1 percent 1,980.21.

Asian stocks got a short-lived boost Monday when they had their first opportunity to react to China's announcement late Friday of interest rate cuts. The perception of concerted efforts by central banks to support economic growth was also reinforced by the European Central Bank. Its President Mario Draghi's said he was willing to step up the bank's efforts to stimulate the region's struggling economy.

"Global sentiment remains mildly positive on the back of last week's stimulus double play out of China and Europe," said Will Leys, a sales trader at CMC Markets.

The major event this week is a meeting of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on Thursday as the price of oil continues to slump. Traders will be looking for a possible agreement to cut production to shore up prices. The price of crude has tumbled 26 percent since June as producers kept output stable while demand in Europe and other markets weakened.

Benchmark U.S. crude was up 1 cent to $75.79 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 73 cents to settle at $75.78 on Monday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 12 cents to $79.80 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The dollar fell to 118.11 yen from 118.28 yen late Monday. The euro inched up to $1.2435 from $1.2430.