World stock mar­kets muted as hol­i­days near

The Pak Banker - - International -

HONG KONG: World stock mar­kets traded in nar­row ranges Wed­nes­day as in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity con­tin­ued to wind down ahead of Christ­mas and New Year hol­i­days.

News of a $6.3 bil­lion bank­ing deal sent Wall Street to new two-year highs the pre­vi­ous day and also gave Asian mar­kets a boost but it wasn't sus­tained in Ja­pan where the bench­mark in­dex closed lower.

"I think a hol­i­day mood is there and I don't ex­pect mar­ket turnover will in­crease a lot," said Li­nus Yip, chief strate­gist at First Shang­hai Se­cu­ri­ties in Hong Kong.

In early Euro­pean trade, France's CAC-40 slipped 0.1 per­cent to 3,921.95 and Bri­tain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.3 per­cent to 5,937.40. Ger­many's DAX de­clined 0.1 per­cent to 7,073.13.

Wall Street was set to open slightly lower with Dow fu­tures down by 8 points, or 0.1 per­cent, at 11,463. Broader S&P fu­tures edged lower by 1.1, or 0.1 per­cent, to 1,249.60.

Chi­nese shares fell on profit-tak­ing, with the bench- mark Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex los­ing 0.9 per­cent to 2,877.90. The Shen­zhen Com­pos­ite In­dex for China's smaller, sec­ond mar­ket slipped 0.8 per­cent to 1,338.20.

"Most in­di­vid­ual in­vestors sold off shares to lock in prof­its by the year's end, though in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors be­gan se­lec­tively buy­ing blue chips, es­pe­cially fi­nan­cial and prop­erty shares, for their earn­ing out­look in 2011," said Xu Zhiyuan, a strate­gist at Cap­i­taledge In­vest­ment & Man­age­ment Co. in Shang­hai.

Ja­pan's Nikkei 225 stock av­er­age closed down 0.2 per­cent to close at 10,346.48 af­ter be­ing higher for most of the day.

Trad­ing houses ben­e­fited from a re­port in the Nikkei fi­nan­cial daily say­ing Ja­panese trad­ing com­pa­nies plan to boost in­vest­ments in Chi­nese star­tups. Mit­sui & Co. rose 1.4 per­cent, and Mit­subishi Corp. added 1.1 per­cent.

Ja­panese fi­nan­cial mar­kets will be closed Thurs­day for the em­peror's birth­day, a na­tional hol­i­day. -Afp

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