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Dec 10, 2014 4:18 AM

European shares bounce back, Asian shares mixed

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) Shares were higher Wednesday as European and Chinese markets clawed back losses from selloffs the day before. But Japan's benchmark extended its retreat after government surveys showed deteriorating business and consumer confidence in the world's third-largest economy.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC-40 gained 0.2 percent to 4,271.03 and Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent at 9,857.68. Britain's FTSE 100 added almost 0.1 percent to 6,532.31. Wall Street looked set for a weak start: Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 were both down 0.2 percent.

JAPAN GLOOM: The government's business sentiment index and a separate survey on consumer confidence showed deepening doubts over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies to revive the economy after it slipped into recession following an April tax hike.

THE QUOTE: "The renewed fall in consumer confidence last month shows that Abenomics provides little reason to cheer for Japan's households," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary. "Since wage growth remains rather sluggish, it is perhaps no surprise that households feel downbeat."

ASIAN SCORECARD: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 2.3 percent to 17,412.58 and South Korea's Kospi fell 1.3 percent to 1,945.56. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index recovered from early losses to rise 0.2 percent to 23,524.52. The Shanghai Composite rose 2.9 percent to 2,940.01 after its dramatic tumble Tuesday, when it plunged 5.4 percent.

CHINA INFLATION: China's consumer price index rose 1.4 percent in November, the slowest pace in five years and a sign of weak domestic demand. That was way below the government's target of 3.5 percent, though lower oil prices are seen as an important factor. Low inflation could give Beijing more headroom to announce further stimulus for the slowing economy.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down $1.29 to $62.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 77 cents to close at $63.82 a barrel on Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 119.09 yen from 119.40 late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.2390 from $1.2385.


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