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Japan stocks lower, China little-changed on Christmas Day

BEIJING (AP) — Japanese stock prices declined and Chinese markets were little-changed Wednesday while trading in most other Asian economies was closed for Christmas Day. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.2% to 23,782.87 while the Shanghai Composite Index was off less than 1 point at 2,981.88. Malaysia's benchmark was down 0.6% while Taiwan gained 0.3%.

Markets in London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and India were closed. On Tuesday, Wall Street ended nearly flat in a shortened pre-Christmas Day trading session. U.S. markets reopen Thursday. The benchmark S&P 500 index slipped less than 0.1% to 3,223.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, to 28,515.45. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.1% to 8,952.88.

Investors have been encouraged by plans for an interim U.S.-Chinese trade deal despite having seen few details. U.S. recession fears have faded after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times. The central bank appears set to keep them low for a long time.

Energy markets were closed for the holiday. In currency markets, the dollar edged down to 109.36 yen from Tuesday's 109.38 yen. The euro gained to $1.1096 from $1.1089.

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