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Global shares advance; Japan's Nikkei rises on weak yen


NewsHubGlobal shares rose Wednesday as gains in the U. S. and Asian markets carried over into European trading. The Tokyo benchmark jumped in the opening day for 2017, helped by a weak yen.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.2 percent to 4,910.99 in early trading, and Germany’s DAX was unchanged at 11,583.90. Britain’s FTSE 100 opened higher but was little changed at 7,175.43. U. S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.1 percent at 19,821. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 percent to 2,255.60.
KIMONOS AND CLAPPING: The Tokyo Stock Exchange welcomed the new year in customary style as women in kimono clapped while Finance Minister Taro Aso rang a bell to celebrate this year’s first session. The Nikkei surged nearly 500 points, as the weak yen, a boon for exporters, pushed auto shares including Honda Motor Co. higher.
JAPAN MANUFACTURING: Investors were encouraged by Wednesday’s release of the Nikkei Japan Manufacturing PMI, a survey of purchasing managers. The reading of 52.4 for December was its highest in a year. The figure is based on a scale of 0 to 100, where 50 marks the cutoff between contraction and expansion. Manufacturers cited rising orders from the U. S., China and Europe as one factor behind the improvement.
THE QUOTE: “Strong sentiment at the start of the year coupled with volatility could be what 2017 has in store for the markets,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 2.5 percent to close at 19,594.16, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent to 5,736.40. South Korea’s Kospi gained nearly 0.1 percent to 2,045.64. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.1 percent to 22,134.47, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.7 percent to 3,158.79.
ENERGY: Benchmark U. S. crude added 57 cents to $52.90 a barrel in New York. It lost $1.39 to $52.33 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 56 cents to $56.03 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar remained strong, rising to 117.80 yen from 117.39 yen. The euro slumped to $1.0430 from $1.0481.

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