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Asian markets mixed as US rally fades, dollar retreats


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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday as a seven-day rally on Wall Street petered out overnight. The U.S. dollar retreated slightly after hitting a 13-year high and oil prices slipped.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei fell 0.14 percent to 17,838.06 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index eased 0.1 percent to 22,265.16. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 3,192.25 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 1,977.59. Australia's S&P/ASX rose 0.15 percent to 5,335.90, while benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Southeast Asia gained.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Alex Furber, sales trader at CMC Markets in Singapore, said Asian markets are still struggling for direction amid uncertainties over policies from President-elect Donald Trump.

"It is very difficult to differentiate what is campaign and what is rhetoric. There is a lot of uncertainty over what policies will actually be put in place in the first 100 days of his presidency," Furber said. "That is why the rally in the U.S. has started to fade last night."

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude extended losses, easing 11 cents to $45.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed down 24 cents to $45.57 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell nine cents to $46.54 a barrel in London.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks ended barely lower Wednesday as banks return some of the huge gains made since the presidential election last week but technology and consumer stocks climbed. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.3 percent to 18,868.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.2 percent to 2,176.94 but the Nasdaq composite added 0.4 percent to 5,294.58.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 108.9190 yen from 109.15 yen late Wednesday, while the euro rose to $1.0701 from $1.0681.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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EILEEN NG

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