ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.9 percent to 3,539.18 points while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.15 percent to 21,914.40. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 5,295.90 and India’s Sensex gained 0.1 percent to 25,980.85. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Thailand also advanced. Singapore declined.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “On the eve of the new year, the fact is that lingering and familiar risks are not purged at the stroke of midnight,” Mizuho Bank said in a report. It cited fluctuating oil prices and uncertainty about the impact of monetary policy changes in the United States, Europe and Japan. “Instead the risk landscape is a continuum that warrants caution.”
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 15 cents to $36.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $1.27 on Wednesday to close at $36.60. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 13 cents to $36.59 in London. It slid $1.33 in the previous session to $36.46.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 120.37 yen from Wednesday’s 120.49. The euro fell to $1.0919 from $1.0936.