Global stocks mostly gain in thin trading ahead of New Year



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TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks mostly edged higher as the last week of trading for the year began Tuesday after Christmas holidays.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent to 11,464 and the CAC 40 of France was up 0.2 percent at 4,849. Markets in Britain are closed for Boxing Day. Wall Street looked set for a quiet open, with Dow and S&P 500 futures roughly unchanged.

TOSHIBA'S TRIBULATION: Shares of electronics and energy giant Toshiba Corp. fell 13 percent after the company announced it expects to record a loss of "several hundred billion yen" (several billion dollars) related to Westinghouse Electric Co.'s purchase of CB&I Stone & Webster, Inc. It said Westinghouse found costs for completing U.S. nuclear power projects will "far surpass" original estimates. Tokyo-based Toshiba also is enmeshed in an accounting scandal.

ITALY BANKS: Shares in troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena were suspended since the government agreed Friday to rescue the company. Monte dei Paschi had been trying, but failed, to raise 5 billion euros in new capital. On Monday, it said that the estimated amount it needs to raise is even higher, at 8.8 billion euros. The amount should be covered by 20 billion euros the Italian government has set aside, but the jitters have weighed on financial stocks.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was nearly flat at 19,403.06 and the Kospi of South Korea rose 0.2 percent to 2,042.17. India's Sensex added 0.8 percent to 26,009.86. The Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.3 percent to 3,114.66. Shares gained in Southeast Asia. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia were closed for Boxing Day.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 117.41 yen from 117.18 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.0441 from $1.0453.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 15 cents to $53.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil markets were closed Monday for the holiday. On Friday, benchmark U.S. crude gained 7 cents. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 1 cent $55.17 a barrel.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

ELAINE KURTENBACH

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