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Global Stocks Retreat Monday           03/19 06:01

   Most global stock markets retreated Monday following Wall Street's gain and 
China's appointment of a new central bank governor and other top economic 

   BEIJING (AP) -- Most global stock markets retreated Monday following Wall 
Street's gain and China's appointment of a new central bank governor and other 
top economic officials.

   KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, London's FTSE 100 tumbled 0.9 percent to 
7,098.44 and Germany's DAX lost 0.3 percent to 12,350.94. France's CAC 40 shed 
0.4 percent to 5,260.57. On Friday, the DAX gained 0.4 percent while the FTSE 
100 and CAC 40 both added 0.3 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Standard 
& Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average both were off 0.5 percent.

   ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 3,279.25 while 
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent to 21,480.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 
12 points to 31,513.76 and Seoul's Kospi lost 0.8 percent to 2,475.03. Sydney's 
S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,959.40 and India's Sensex shed 0.7 
percent to 32,934.65. Benchmarks in Taiwan and New Zealand advanced while 
Southeast Asian markets fell.

   WALL STREET: Energy companies, industrial firms and smaller companies 
gained, helping the market break a losing streak. The Standard & Poor's 500 
index gained 0.2 percent to 2,752.01. The Dow Jones industrial average added 
0.3 percent to 24,946.51. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.25 points to 7,481.99.

   CHINA'S NEW FACES: A U.S.-trained economist was named to succeed longtime 
Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan as part of a slate of new economic 
officials. The appointments come as Beijing tries to rein in surging debt and 
reduce financial risk. The new governor of the People's Bank of China, Yi Gang, 
is a 20-year veteran of the bank and known to foreign investors and regulators 
as head of China's foreign exchange regulator. The ceremonial national 
legislature also approved a second term for the commerce minister and appointed 
a finance minister.

   FED WATCH: Investors are closely watching this week's first meeting of the 
U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee under newly appointed Fed 
chairman Jerome Powell. The potential for insight about the new Fed leadership 
makes this "arguably one of the most important policy setting meetings in 
recent years," said Tai Hui of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, in a report. 
Forecasters already expect a 0.25 percentage point increase in the Fed's 
benchmark interest rate but want to know its economic outlook, which will 
influence future decisions. "The committee's assessment on the U.S. economy and 
subsequent policy outlook is going to be crucial," said Hui.

   RUSSIAN ELECTION: President Vladimir Putin rolled to a crushing re-election 
victory. There had been no doubt that Putin would win his fourth election 
against seven minor candidates after his most prominent foe was blocked from 
the ballot. With ballots from 80 percent of Russia's precincts counted by early 
Monday, Putin had amassed 76 percent of the vote. Observers and individual 
voters reported widespread violations including ballot-box stuffing and forced 
voting, but the claims are unlikely to dilute the power of Russia's 
longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin. As the embodiment of Russia's 
resurgent power on the world stage, Putin commands immense loyalty among 

   ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 33 cents to $62.01 per barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped 
$1.15 on Friday to close at $62.34. Brent crude, used to price international 
oils, lost 38 cents to $65.83 per barrel in London. It climbed $1.09 on Friday 
to $66.21.

   CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 105.92 yen from Friday's 105.98 yen. The 
euro declined to $1.2267 from $1.2291. 


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