Global Shares Steady ahead of Christmas Holidays


Global stocks were muted Wednesday as investment activity dimmed ahead holidays.


Asian markets except Japan received momentum after news of a $ 6.3 billion banking deal on the last trading day. The world’s No.3 economy’s benchmark index closed lower.


The Nikkei 225 stock average edged down 0.2 percent to 10,346.48 Wednesday. Sanyo Electric Co. tumbled 5.1 percent and Panasonic Electric Works Co. shed 4.6 percent while Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. added 1.4 percent and 1.1 percent in turn.


In other Asia markets, China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.9 percent to 2,877.90 and the Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 1,338.20.


Xu Zhiyuan, a strategist at Capital-edge Investment & Management Co. in Shanghai, explained that most individual investors locked in profits by selling off shares while institutional investors aimed at blue chips like financial and property shares.


On the positive side, South Korea’s Kospi added less than 0.1 percent to 2,038.11 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.1 percent to finish 4,778.40.


Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.2 percent to end at 23,045.19. Sinopec advanced 2.4 percent.


In Europe, stock markets also had to struggle to keep the third day of gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.03% to 281.03.


The FTSE 100 index losy 0.1% to 5,944.78, with Xstrata PLC falling 1.2% fall, Essar Energy PLC and Cairn Energy PLC declining 1.1%.


Germany’s DAX 30 index kept unchanged at 7,075.26. France’s CAC 40 index lost 0.1% to 3,922.47.


In Greece, Fitch Ratings Service warned of its possible downgrading of Greek debt from its current BBB- rating to junk status. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have downgraded their rating on Greece to non-investment grade.


Portugal was also warned of being cut rating in coming months by Moody’s Investor Services.


According to Robert Ryan, an analyst at BNP Paribas, speculation of possible crisis and deterioration in the eurozone will continue to weigh on the euro.