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China, Japan stocks lower on Christmas

JOE McDONALD
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Japan Financial Markets

People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019. Chinese and Japanese stocks declined Wednesday while most other Asian markets were closed for Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

BEIJING (AP) — Japanese stock prices declined and Chinese markets were little-changed Wednesday while trading in most other Asian economies was closed for Christmas Day.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.2% to 23,792.34 while the Shanghai Composite Index was up less than 1 off 2 points at 2,983.13. Malaysia's benchmark was down 0.6% while Taiwan gained 12 points.

Markets in Hong Kong, India, New Zealand and Singapore were closed.

Wall Street ended nearly flat Tuesday in a shortened trading session before closing for Christmas Day. U.S. markets reopen Thursday.

The benchmark S&P 500 index slipped less than 0.1% to 3,223.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, to 28,515.45. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.1% to 8,952.88.

Investors have been encouraged by plans for an interim U.S.-Chinese trade deal despite having seen few details.

U.S. recession fears have faded after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times. The central bank appears set to keep them low for a long time.

Energy markets were closed for the holiday.

In currency markets, the dollar edged up to 109.39 yen from Tuesday's 109.38 yen. The euro declined to $1.1087 from $1.1089.