Asian shares mixed in listless trading on Wall Street fall

By YURI KAGEYAMAMarketsAssociated Press

Asian shares were mixed Wednesday in listless trading after the fall on Wall Street that reversed the recent gains over the Republican-backed U.S. tax bill.

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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 percent to 22,849.81 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 6,074.10. South Korea's Kospi was also unchanged at 2,478.44. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent at 29,314.09, while the Shanghai Composite added nearly 0.1 percent to 3,298.61.

US TAXES: The recent upbeat sentiments over the U.S. tax bill appeared to be waning. Investors like the proposed tax cut because it would boost corporate profits and likely raise stock prices along with it. The bill, set for a final vote in the House later in the day, would initially cut taxes for most Americans, but by 2027 would increase tax bills for most.

WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 8.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,681.47. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 37.45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,754.75. The Nasdaq composite gave up 30.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,963.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 12.17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,536.75. It climbed almost 3 percent over the previous two days.

THE QUOTE: "In the run up to the year-end, equity markets can be seen cruising broadly in a cautious manner, where the confirmation of the U.S. tax bill passage is still needed for prices to further its run," says Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $57.76 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 13 cents to $63.93 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.91 yen from 112.58 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro rose slightly to $1.1844 from $1.1811.

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