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New Year rally pushes global shares higher; oil retreats

Published: January 3, 2018
The Associated Press
A currency trader stands near the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Strong manufacturing data and overnight gains on Wall Street gave Asian markets a boost on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

TOKYO (AP) Global markets rose Wednesday, with European shares tracking China-led advances in Asia. Oil prices held steady.KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent to 12,924.14 and the CAC 40 of France was up 0.2 percent at 5,299.80. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,647.71. Standard & Poors 500 futures were up 0.2 percent and Dow futures also rose 0.2 percent, auguring early gains on Wall Street.ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index picked up 0.2 percent to 30,560.95 and the Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.6 percent to 3,369.11. South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,486.35 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia ticked 0.2 percent higher to 6,070.40. Shares rose in Taiwan and Singapore but fell in Indonesia. Markets in Japan were closed for New Year holidays but reopen on Thursday.WALL STREET: Technology and health care companies jumped Tuesday as U.S. stocks started the new year the same way they spent the last one: rising steadily and setting records. Energy companies, which struggled in 2017, also climbed. The Nasdaq composite busted through another milestone as it closed above 7,000 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index 0.8 percent to a record 2,695.81. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 percent to 24,824.01 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.5 percent to 7,006.90. The Russell 2000 index, which consists of smaller company stocks, gained 0.9 percent to 1,550.51, also a new high.ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "U.S. investors put their money where their mouth is, starting the year with a confidence-boosting rally in cyclical stocks. Driven by the coordinated global growth theme and no doubt reinforced by tax cuts, last night saw solid gains in US cyclical sectors including consumer discretionary; materials and info tech," Ric Spooner of CMC Markets said in a commentary.BITCOIN: The digital currency rose 3.3 percent to $15,220.10 by 0840 GMT Wednesday, according to Coindesk.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $60.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 5 cents to $60.37 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 2 cents to $66.59 per barrel. A rally late in the year sent crude oil to its highest price since June 2015.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.32 yen from 112.29 yen. The euro slipped to $1.2040 from $1.2060.