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World markets mostly higher in light holiday trade

PARIS - PARIS (AP) — European stock markets moved higher Tuesday as investors continued to book modest gains amid thin volume on the back of satisfying holiday sales in the U.S. and rising commodity prices.

In Europe, the FTSE-100 index of leading British shares reopened after an extended holiday break, rising 24.63 points or 0.5 percent to 5,427.04, while Paris' CAC 40 index was up 3.66 points or 0.1 percent at 3,950.97, approaching a new 14-month high.

Germany's DAC rose 4.09 points or 0.1 percent to 6,007.01.

Europe's major indexes were seen extending their now six-day rally by sales figures showing shoppers in the U.S. spent more freely this holiday season, a sign that consumers are feeling better about the economy.

Earlier Asian stocks markets moved mostly higher Tuesday in dwindling holiday trade after Wall Street posted muted gains.

Trade was sluggish and thin across the region with many investors out for the holidays and unwilling to place bets toward the end of a year marked by tremendous gains in stocks around the world.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average edged up 3.83 points, or 0.04 percent, to 10,638.06 in an erratic session. Hong Kong's Hang Seng, also down earlier in the day, added 19.22 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,499.44.

South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.8 percent to 1,672.48 while China's Shanghai index rose 0.7 percent to 3,211.76.

U.S. futures pointed to a marginally higher open on Wall Street.

Oil prices hung below $79 a barrel in Asia, with benchmark crude for February delivery down 2 cents to $78.75. The contract settled up 72 cents at $78.77 on Monday after surging above $79 as an extended cold snap in the U.S. triggered an end-of-year rally in energy futures.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 91.56 yen from 91.62 yen. The euro rose to $1.4432 from $1.4376.


Associated Press Business Writer Jeremiah Marquez contributed to this report.


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