European shares mixed after Dow tops 18,000

AP and AFP

TOKYO/HONG KONG–Shares were mixed in early European trading Wednesday after the Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 18,000 to hit a new high. Asian shares were mostly higher, though Chinese markets were mixed in volatile trading after Shanghai’s benchmark fell on Tuesday.

Britain’s FTSE rose 0.3 percent to 6,598.18, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.6 percent to 9,922.11. Wall Street looked set for further gains after Tuesday’s record high, with Dow futures up 0.1 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.03 percent.

The Dow’s rise to a record-high 18,024.17 on Tuesday, spurred by Commerce Department data showing that the economy grew at a 5 percent annual rate in July-September, carried over into global markets on Wednesday.

��This is going to end up being a bit better of a year for stocks and bonds than most people thought coming in,�� said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management.

Australia and Hong Kong both ended slightly higher after thin trading in holiday-shortened sessions.

Sydney rose 0.25 percent, or 13.6 points, to close at 5,394.5 while Hong Kong inched up 0.08 percent, or 17.54 points, to 23,351.23. But Shanghai fell 1.98 percent, or 60.08 points, to end at 2,972.53, adding to one of its biggest percentage falls of the year on Tuesday.

In China, shares continued to slide, giving up gains sparked by a surge of foreign buying that followed a surprise interest-rate cut last month. Shares had jumped more than 20 percent since Beijing lowered its key rate, rising above the 3,000 mark for the first time in three and a half years. In Hong Kong shares in China-based shopping mall developer Dalian Wanda surged 4.06 percent to HK$48.65 after falling on its first day of trading following a record-breaking IPO. Tokyo stocks closed 1.24 percent higher on Wednesday, boosted by record-setting gains on Wall Street and a weak yen in thin post-holiday trade. The Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 219.09 points to finish at 17,854.23, while the Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.92 percent, or 12.97 points, to 1,426.02. In individual shares, Toyota rose 1.61 percent to 7,657.0 yen while Canon was up 0.96 percent at 4,028.0 yen. Skymark Airlines rose 2.50 percent to 327.0 yen.