China, Japan stocks lower on Christmas

Chinese and Japanese stocks declined Thursday while most other Asian markets were closed for Christmas Day.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1% to 23,806.72 while the Shanghai Composite Index was off 2 points at 2,982.80. Malaysia's benchmark was down 0.6% while Taiwan gained nine points.

Wall Street ended nearly flat Tuesday in a shortened trading session before closing for Christmas Day. 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 up to 109.39 yen from Tuesday's 109.38 yen. The euro declined to $1.1087 from $1.1089.

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