Asian markets were mixed in late morning trade on Tuesday, but Tokyo eased on profit-taking and following an uptick in the yen after Japan’s finance minister said the central bank’s independence was safe for now. With US markets closed for the Presidents’ Day public holiday, there were no drivers from New York Tokyo, which surged more than two per cent Monday, fell 0.21 per cent, while Hong Kong was up 0.10 per cent, Sydney added 0.21 per cent, Seoul was 0.35 per cent higher and Shanghai slipped 0.30 per cent. The yen rose after Finance Minister Taro Aso’s comments on the central bank took the edge off premier Shinzo Abe’s warning Monday that he would consider changing the law to take control of the Bank of Japan if it could not achieve a new two per cent inflation target. “We are not thinking about a law change at the moment,” Aso said at a regular news conference Tuesday. Abe’s remarks had added to selling pressure on the yen, which was already weakened by the Group of 20’s decision not to label Tokyo a currency manipulator over its recent monetary easing policy. In early foreign exchange trade, the dollar slipped to 93.69 yen from 93.95 yen in London on Monday afternoon, while the euro bought 125.19 yen, compared with 125.43 yen. “The pair (dollar against the yen) fell on Mr. Aso’s remarks on foreign bond purchases,” said a senior dealer at a major Japanese trust bank. The euro also sat at US$1.3344 against US$1.3353. Oil prices were mixed, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, rising three cents to US$95.60 a barrel compared with London prices on Monday. Brent North Sea crude for April fell 19 cents to US$117.50. Gold was at US$1,614.40 at 0200 GMT, compared with US$1,610.52 late Monday.