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Morning Market Roundup: Presidents' Day Edition


Here’s what’s shaking:


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After starting the day in negative territory, Europe's main indexes were mixed around midday as investors cautiously contemplated a further fall in value for the Japanese yen - which sent the benchmark Nikkei index surging more than 2 percent.

Europe's main indexes were mixed around midday. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent to 6,318.65. Germany's DAX climbed 0.2 percent at 7,605. France's CAC-40 lost 0.2 percent to 3,653.

U.S. stock markets are closed for the Presidents Day holiday.

A lack of G20 criticism for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy of suppressing the yen appeared to give him a freer hand to pursue Japan's efforts to jolt its manufacturing sector.

The dollar gained against the yen, after retreating earlier, trading up 0.44 percent to 93.22 yen. The euro was up 0.34 percent to 129.39 yen, and was unchanged against the dollar at $1.34.

Mainland Chinese shares were mixed after a weeklong break for Lunar New Year. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 2,421.56. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent to 23,381.94.


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The price of oil hovered below $96 a barrel Monday, weighed by data released late last week which showed that U.S. industrial production weakened and Europe remained mired in recession.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for March delivery was down 17 cents to $95.69 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.45 on Friday.

Trading volume was lower than usual as floor trading, like U.S. financial markets, was closed for the Presidents Day holiday.

Investor sentiment has been subdued since the Federal Reserve said Friday that U.S. factory production slowed in January, mostly because of a big drop in output at auto factories. Most analysts think the slowdown is temporary, but it was enough to raise concern about the still-sluggish economic recovery.

Traders were also concerned about a deepening recession across the economy of the 17 countries that use the euro. Their combined economic output shrank by 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012 from the previous three-month period. The decline was bigger than the 0.4 percent drop expected and the steepest fall since 2009.

Markets were waiting for comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who is meeting Monday with members of the European Parliament to discuss the financial crisis in the eurozone.

Brent crude, used to price many international varieties of oil, was down 1 cent to $117.65 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

The AP contributed to this report.

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