Shares mixed as thin trading on New Year holidays brings roller-coaster 2013 to a close

Elaine Kurtenbach, The Associated Press 0

TOKYO – Shares were mixed Tuesday in thin pre-holiday trading, with early gains in some markets succumbing to selling pressure as roller-coaster 2013 wound to a close.

The French and British markets, which will trade for a half day on Tuesday, started on a positive note. The CAC-40 rose 0.2 per cent to 4,284.83 and the FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 per cent to 6,738.10.

Germany’s DAX was closed for the holiday.

Futures suggested potentially modest New Year’s Eve gains on Wall Street. Dow Jones futures rose 0.04 per cent while S&P 500 futures gained 0.03 per cent.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.3 per cent to close at 23,306.39 in a half-day session, buoyed by buying of mainland China-based banks and energy companies. Shares in Shanghai and Shenzhen also rebounded from early losses.

Elsewhere in Asia, share prices rose in Malaysia, Singapore and India but fell in Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Markets were closed in Japan and other Asian markets for the New Year holiday.

The Tokyo benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.7 per cent Monday to end 2013 at its highest level in more than six years, having gained 56.7 per cent in 2013 — the biggest annual gain in 41 years.

In foreign exchange markets, the dollar was virtually unchanged at 104.95 Japanese yen, while the euro slipped 0.08 per cent to $1.379.

The price of crude oil dipped back below $100, with the benchmark U.S. contract for February delivery down 10 cents at $99.19 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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