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Asia Markets: Asian markets unfazed after Yellen hints at rate hikes

Asian stock indexes were little changed on Wednesday as investors shrugged off comments from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen about the prospect of higher interest rates.

Regional markets reflected Wall Street with the major U.S. indexes finishing essentially flat overnight.

Japanese stocks were lower ahead of interim dividend payments by many Japanese companies. The first half of the fiscal year ends on Saturday, and shareholders as of Tuesday’s close were entitled to those dividends.

The ex-dividend sales had a roughly 130-point impact on the Nikkei NIK, -0.29% on Wednesday, which was recently down 59 points, or 0.3%. Banks, which typically pay relatively rich dividends, were hard hit with the Topix bank subindex down 1.2%.

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