Asia mixed, Europe drifts downward as trading resumes after Christmas break

FRANKFURT -- Global stock trading resumed Monday with a case of the post-Christmas blahs.

Shares closed mixed in Asia and drifted lower in Europe with little news to propel trading during the last week of the year.

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Wall Street appeared headed lower ahead of the resumption of trading after the Christmas holiday Friday.

Oil prices dipped after their modest recovery last week with both U.S. and international Brent crude prices off more than 2 per cent.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX blue-chip index fell 0.9 per cent to 10,629.92 and France's CAC 40 was off 1.0 per cent at 4,614.03. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.6 per cent to 18,873.35 while the Shanghai Composite Index was sharply lower, off 2.6 per cent at 3,534.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.0 per cent to 21,919.62.

The London Stock Exchange remained closed for the holiday break, as did exchanges in Ireland and Australia.

WALL STREET: Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 0.5 per cent at 17,360 ahead of the open Monday. Broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures were down 0.5 per cent at 2,040.75. The S&P 500 ended last week up nearly 3 per cent and is back into positive territory for the year.

THE GLUT GOES ON: After recovering a bit last week, oil prices slid again amid reports that Iran intends to increase exports by 500,000 barrels per day once economic sanctions are removed. That would only add to the excess supply that has helped depress prices and sent shares in energy companies lower.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed $1.19 cents to $36.91 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, lost 87 cents to $37.02 per barrel in London.

CURRENCY: The dollar was unchanged at 120.40 yen while the euro advanced 0.1 per cent to $1.0984.


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