Stocks mixed in light trading as markets reopen after Christmas break

BEIJING -- Global stocks were mixed in light trading Monday as markets reopened following the Christmas break.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 per cent to 10,727.00 and France's CAC-40 shed 0.3 per cent to 4,647.47.

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Markets in London were closed for a holiday. On Thursday, the CAC-40 fell 0.2 per cent and Britain's FTSE 100 closed up 0.2 per cent. The DAX rose 1.8 per cent on Wednesday, its last pre-Christmas trading day. Wall Street looked set for a lukewarm start, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.2 per cent and Standard & Poor's 500 dipping 0.1 per cent.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index added 0.6 per cent to 18,873.35 while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 2.6 per cent to 3,533.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 1 per cent at 21,919.62 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3 per cent to 5,207.60. Seoul's Kospi retreated 1.3 per cent to 1,964.06. New Zealand advanced while Taiwan and Singapore declined.

WALL STREET: Stocks closed lower Thursday in light Christmas Eve trading. The energy component of the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.9 per cent, the most of its 10 industry sectors. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3 per cent and the S&P 500 declined 0.2 per cent. The Nasdaq composite lost less than 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 ended the week up nearly 3 per cent and is back into positive territory for the year.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Trading "easing off into thin holiday markets should not lull one into complacency," said Mizuho Bank in a report. "Watch for renewed momentum in 2016!"

JAPANESE DOLDRUMS: Industrial production in November declined 1 per cent month on month following two months of gains. Retail sales fell for the first time since June 2015. Analysts blamed unusually warm weather that hurt clothing sales and lower prices for fuel and fresh food. "Increased purchasing power gained by lower oil prices and larger seasonal bonuses for large corporations will probably provide only limited support to boost Japan's retail sales because overall wage growth remains slack," Harumi Taguchi of IHS Global Insight said in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 64 cents to $37.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the contract gained 60 cents to close at $38.10. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost 62 cents to $37.27 per barrel in London. In the previous session, the contract rose 53 cents to close at $37.89.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 120.59 yen from 120.43 yen. The euro weakened to $1.0972 from $1.0976.


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