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Asian Markets Mostly Higher, European Markets Mixed as Turbulent 2020 Nears End


A television broadcast shows German Health Minister Jens Spahn during a trading session at the Frankfurt stock exchange, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 30, 2020.

European markets were mixed Wednesday as investors prepared to turn the page to a new year after a turbulent 2020.

Britain’s benchmark FTSE index was up just over one point at midday, but virtually unchanged percentage-wise (+0.03%). The CAC-40 index in France dropped nearly one-half of one point (-0.01%), while Germany’s DAX index was up more than 11 points (+0.09%).

Asian markets finished mostly higher on the next-to-last day of 2020, led by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which soared 2.1%. Solid gains were also recorded in Shanghai, where the Composite index finished just over one percent higher. In Seoul, the KOSPI rose 1.8%, while the TSEC index in Taipei earned 1.4%, and the Sensex in Mumbai finished 0.2% higher.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei index in Tokyo lost 0.4%, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX dropped 0.2%.

In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,882.00 an ounce, down less than a point but virtually unchanged (-0.05%). U.S. crude oil was selling at $48.46 an ounce, up 0.9%, and Brent crude oil was selling at $51.39, up 0.5%.

In futures trading, all three major U.S. indices were trending positively ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street.