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Asian markets muted; South Korean election, Australia budget in focus

Asian equities were mostly muted after soaring in the previous trading session with investors focused on key regional events unfolding in the day, including a presidential election in South Korea and the release of the Australian federal budget.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was mostly flat, trading 0.11 percent lower after surging more than 2 percent in the previous session.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index trader higher by 0.3 percent. Markets on the mainland were softer, with the Shanghai Composite sliding 0.2 percent and the Shenzhen Composite lower by 0.119 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200, Australia's benchmark index, fell 0.47 percent, driven by the financials sub-index, which experienced a 1.9 percent drop.

The Korean won bucked a three-day losing streak against the dollar to trade at 1,133.88 at 9:30 am HK/SIN.

In energy news, oil prices rose on the back of renewed hopes that output cuts from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers could potentially extend to 2018. US crude rose 0.39 percent to trade at USD 46.61 per barrel while Brent crude added 0.41 percent to trade at USD 49.54.

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