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Global Shares Track Wall St. Weakness  01/17 06:11

   Shares were lower Wednesday in Asia after a flip-flop session on Wall 
Street, where the Dow industrial average ended almost flat after backtracking 
from a broad rally earlier in the day.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Shares were lower Wednesday in Asia after a flip-flop session 
on Wall Street, where the Dow industrial average ended almost flat after 
backtracking from a broad rally earlier in the day.

   KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 percent to 7,733.92 and the 
CAC 40 of France also fell 0.3 percent, to 5,500.18. Germany's DAX lost 0.2 
percent to 13,220.70. Wall Street looked set to regain momentum, with Dow 
futures up 0.4 percent at 25,933.00 and S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent to 
2,788.60.

   ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.4 percent to 23,868.34 and the 
Kospi in South Korea shed 0.3 percent to 2,515.43. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 
dropped 0.5 percent to 6,015.80. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rebounded from earlier 
losses to gain 0.3 percent, closing at 31,983.41 while the Shanghai Composite 
index added 0.2 percent to 3,444.67.44. India's Sensex added 0.8 percent to 
35,035.49. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

   ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "U.S. equity markets flip flopped returning from the 
Martin Luther King Day holiday and coupled with the softer oil prices, set 
Asian markets for a day of contemplation," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a 
commentary.

   JAPAN MACHINERY: Orders for machinery were the highest in almost a decade in 
November, rising nearly 12 percent from a month earlier, the government 
reported Wednesday. The strong demand suggests companies are investing to 
expand production capacity that likely would support growth in coming months, 
analysts said.

   BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin extended its slump, triggered by comments by a 
South Korean financial policymaker who said that banning trading in digital 
currencies was an option. The price of one bitcoin fell 5 percent to $10,784.02 
as of 0930 GMT Wednesday according to the tracking site CoinDesk.  Bitcoin 
futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange were down 2.3 percent at $10.800. The 
futures allow investors to make bets on the future price of bitcoin. The price 
of bitcoin soared last year after starting 2017 under $1,000, but has 
languished this year amid signs of increased scrutiny from governments. Many 
finance pros believe bitcoin is in a speculative bubble that could burst any 
time.

   ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 12 cents to $63.61 per barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 57 cents to 
$63.73 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, 
lost 24 cents to $68.91.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.76 yen from 110.49 yen on Tuesday. The 
euro weakened to $1.2237 from $1.2258.


(BE)

 
 
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