Global stocks mixed after decline in oil prices

LONDON — Global stocks were closing out the year on a subdued note Thursday, while indexes in Germany, Japan and South Korea were already shut for the New Year holiday.

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KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 per cent to 4,665.91 and Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 per cent at 6,265.28. Germany's main stock market, which remained closed for the holiday, on Wednesday closed 1.1 per cent lower to leave it up 9.6 per cent for the year. Wall Street was expected to edge up slightly, with the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 up 0.1 per cent.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.9 per cent to 3,539.18 points while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.15 per cent to 21,914.40. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 per cent to 5,295.90 and India's Sensex gained 0.1 per cent to 25,980.85. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Thailand also advanced. Singapore declined.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "On the eve of the new year, the fact is that lingering and familiar risks are not purged at the stroke of midnight," Mizuho Bank said in a report. It cited fluctuating oil prices and uncertainty about the impact of monetary policy changes in the United States, Europe and Japan. "Instead, the risk landscape is a continuum that warrants caution."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 16 cents to $36.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $1.27 on Wednesday to close at $36.60. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 24 cents to $37.11 in London. It slid $1.33 in the previous session to $36.46.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 120.57 yen from Wednesday's 120.49, while the euro fell to $1.0930 from $1.0936.


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