Asia shares rise on new S&P high, Europe meanders

Associated Press
A man watches an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Asian stock markets rose after Wall Street indexes hit record highs, with Japan's Nikkei 225 leading gains as the yen weakened. The Nikkei ended up 275.92 points at 14,425.44 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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TOKYO (AP) — Asian stock markets were boosted Wednesday after the S&P 500 rose above 1,900 for the first time, but European markets meandered ahead of a likely flat start to U.S. trading.

Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 percent to 9,746.37 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent to 4,498.55. Britain's FTSE 100 was barely changed at 6,870.63. Futures augured little movement on Wall Street, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both flat.

Though most Asian markets were lifted by the boost to sentiment from Wall Street's performance, Japan's benchmark remained in negative territory as investors locked in profits from recent gains.

The Standard & Poor's 500 topped the 1,900 mark for the first time Tuesday, driven by optimism over the economic recovery, before closing just below it, up 0.1 percent at 1,897.45.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.1 percent to 14,405.76 after a 2 percent jump the day before on a weaker yen.

Elsewhere in Asia, shares were mostly higher. South Korea's Kospi added 1.4 percent to 2,010.83 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong perked up after its midday break, gaining 1 percent to 22,582.77.

Mainland China's bellwether Shanghai Composite Index fell on recent weak economic data, but shares rose in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery was up 34 cents at $102.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.11 Tuesday to $101.70 a barrel, the highest close since April 24.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3718 from $1.3706 late Tuesday. The dollar fell to 101.85 yen from 102.26 yen.

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