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World Shares Mixed on Thursday         10/29 05:40

   European shares opened higher Thursday after Asian shares logged moderate 
losses following a sell-off on Wall Street sparked by surging coronavirus 
counts and fresh pandemic shutdown measures.

   (AP) -- European shares opened higher Thursday after Asian shares logged 
moderate losses following a sell-off on Wall Street sparked by surging 
coronavirus counts and fresh pandemic shutdown measures.

   Shares gained in Paris, London and Shanghai but fell in Tokyo, Hong Kong and 
Sydney on Thursday. U.S. futures were higher.

   Oil prices extended their losses on expectations that the pandemic may cause 
further disruptions that would crimp demand for energy.

   Investors were awaiting U.S. economic growth numbers and the release by 
China's communist leadership of a five-year plan expected to focus on building 
advanced technologies.

   Japan's central bank kept its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged while 
downgrading its outlook due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

   "Our nation's economy is still in a severe situation from the effects of the 
coronavirus both inside and outside of Japan. But since business activity has 
restarted, we can say that the economy has been recovering," BOJ Gov. Haruhiko 
Kuroda told reporters.

   Germany's DAX jumped 0.7% to 11,649.34, while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 
0.5% to 4,595.33. In London, the FTSE 100 edged 0.2% higher. Signaling fresh 
buying enthusiasm after Wednesday's rout, U.S. futures rose, with the contract 
for the S&P 500 up 0.9% at 3,294.60. The future for the Dow industrials added 
0.7% to 26,598.00.

   The rebound in Europe followed steep losses the day before, after the French 
president announced tough measures to slow the virus' spread and German 
officials agreed to impose a four-week partial lockdown. The alarm spread to 
Wall Street, where the S&P 500 slid 3.5% overnight for its biggest drop since 
June.

   So far, the measures are not as stringent as shutdown orders that swept the 
world early this year, but the worry is they could still hit the already 
weakened global economy.

   In Asia, some places such as Thailand and Taiwan appear to be keeping the 
pandemic in check, while caseloads surge in others. India surpassed 8 million 
confirmed COVID-19 cases, second only to the U.S., on Thursday with nearly 8.86 
million. Indonesia and the Philippines are struggling to keep outbreaks in 
check, and fresh clusters of cases are being reported in Japan.

   "When it rains, it pours, particularly if you are following today's COVID-19 
headlines," Edward Moya of Oanda said in a commentary. "An overvalued stock 
market was ripe for a pullback, but when you focus on COVID-19 headlines, it 
looks more like panic-selling."

   Retail sales in Japan, the world's third largest economy, fell 8.7% from a 
year earlier in September, according to data reported Thursday. While purchases 
of goods has recovered somewhat, services remain weak.

   The Japanese central bank has been pumping tens of billions of dollars into 
the economy every year, trying to restore stable growth as the country's 
population shrinks and ages. Japan was already in recession when the pandemic 
began.

   Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4% on Thursday to 23,331.94, while Hong 
Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5% to 24,586.60. In South Korea, the Kospi lost 0.8% to 
2,326.67, while the Shanghai Composite index recovered from early losses, 
gaining 0.1% to 3,272.73. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.6% to 5,960.30.

   Shares also fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

   In the U.S., cases are increasing in just about every state and the number 
of deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are on the rise. Uncertainty 
over the upcoming presidential election has also been pushing markets around.

   Crude oil wavered between losses and gains after losing 5.7% on Wednesday. 
On Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude lost 26 cents to $37.12 per barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

   Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 29 cents to $39.35 per 
barrel. It fell 5.4% to $39.64 per barrel on Wednesday.

   As usual whenever volatility spikes, investors headed into the safety of 
U.S. government bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 0.78%, 
down from as high as 0.87% last week.

   Investors' hopes that Congress and the White House could soon offer more big 
support for the economy as it struggles through the pandemic have largely 
faded. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have 
continued their talks, but investors see little chance of a deal happening 
before Election Day next week.

   Economists say the economy likely needs such aid after the expiration of the 
last round of supplemental unemployment benefits and other stimulus approved by 
Washington earlier this year.

   In currency dealings, the dollar weakened to 104.25 Japanese yen from 104.34 
yen. The euro fell to $1.1736 from $1.1747.

 
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