Asia shares mostly higher in quiet holiday trading, Shanghai continues rebound

Energy Associated Press

Shares were mostly higher in quiet trading Friday in Asia, as most markets in the region and across the globe were closed for Christmas holidays. China's Shanghai Composite Index extended gains in the second day of a rebound from this week's earlier sell-off.

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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index edged 0.1 percent higher to 17,818.50 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 1,948.41. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.5 percent to 3,116. 99. Southeast Asian markets were mixed. U.S. markets looked set for gains when they reopen Friday, with Dow futures up 0.2 percent and S&P future 0.1 percent higher.

JAPAN DATA: Shares recovered lost ground on expectations of further government stimulus after Japan's inflation rate eased slightly in November, hindering efforts to attain the 2 percent target seen as essential for putting growth back on track. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was due to announce fresh stimulus on Saturday after taking office for a third term.

CHINA'S BOUNCE: The Shanghai benchmark rose Friday on bargain hunting of major transport and property development shares after rebounding by 3.4 percent Thursday following two days of selling that cost it more than 5 percent due to worries that regulators might act to cool surging share prices.

ENERGY: The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil ended at $56.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The benchmark fell $1.28 to close at $55.84 a barrel in New York on Wednesday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, gained 20 cents to $60.44 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar edged lower to 120.21 Japanese yen from its previous close of 120.33. The euro was unchanged at $1.2213.