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Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018
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Global markets mixed as 2018 trading opens

BEIJING (AP) — Asian markets were mostly higher while European shares declined at the opening Tuesday as 2018 trading began and investors looked ahead to whether the record-setting U.S. equity run will last.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent to 12,820.81 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.4 percent to 5,292.70. London's FTSE 100 retreated 0.3 percent to 7,661.83. On Friday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.9 percent to a record while the DAX and CAC 40 each lost 0.5 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index both gained 0.1 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 3,348.33 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2 percent to 30,515.31. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 2,479.65 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 lost four points to 6,061.30. India's Sensex shed 0.1 percent to 33,775.00. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Singapore gained while Jakarta declined.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks slid on 2017's final trading day but turned in their strongest annual performance since 2013. Technology companies, banks and health care stocks accounted for much of the decline. Energy stocks fell, even as the price of U.S. crude oil surged to its highest level in more than two years. The S&P ended the day down 0.5 percent but turned in a 19.4 percent gain for the year. The Dow also fell 0.5 percent but finished 2017 up 25.1 percent.

Nasdaq recorded the biggest advance, ending the year up 28.2 percent.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "U.S. equities ending the year off the highs may not be a bad thing and surely does not distract from the year's stellar 19-28 percent gain depending on the stock market gauge. Question in 2018 is what it will take for more of the same," Mizuho Bank said in a report. "And if there is a New (non-bullish) theme in town this Year, investors long in equities will be less Happy; even if equity bull run is getting long in the tooth."

CHINA MANUFACTURING: A survey by Chinese business magazine Caixin found manufacturing activity in December accelerated by its biggest margin in four months. The magazine's purchasing managers' index rose to 51.5 from November's 50.8 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity improving. The surveyed showed exports, total output and buying activity rising.

INDIA MANUFACTURING: A survey showed India's manufacturing activity accelerated to a five-year high in December. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 54.7 from November's 52.6 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 are meant to show activity expanding. Indicators for total output, new orders and output prices all rose. "Prospects for local manufacturers look bright over the near term," Shilan Shah of Capital Economics said in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 16 cents to $60.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 48 cents on Friday to close at $60.42. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 5 cents to $66.92 in London. It rose 71 cents the previous session to $66.87.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.40 yen from 112.68. The euro rose to $1.2047 from $1.2009.

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National Business

Global markets mixed as 2018 trading opens