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Asia shares mixed in thin holiday trading after Wall St gain

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Journalists film an electronic stock board showing reopened Japan's Nikkei 225 index at Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Tokyo's market resumed trading Friday after a full-day outage due to a malfunction in its computer systems. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO – Asian shares were mixed Friday in thin holiday trading, with markets in South Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong closed.

The Nikkei 225 index shed strong early gains to edge 0.1% higher, to 23,211.35, as the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading after an all day outage Thursday due to a technical failure.

Reports that the Japanese government is preparing new stimulus measures to help the economy recover from a prolonged downturn worsened by the coronavirus pandemic provided only a temporary lift.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.8% to 5,85.80 after the release of discouraging retail sales data. Shares in Singapore and Indonesia also fell.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher after pinballing through another shaky day of trading, as investors wait to see if Washington can get past its partisanship to deliver another economic rescue package.

The S&P 500 ended the day 0.5% higher, at 3,380.80, but it careened from an early 1% gain to a slight loss before arriving there.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 27,816.90 after earlier bouncing between a gain of 259 points and a loss of 112. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.4%, to 11,326.51 as big tech-oriented stocks propped up the market, much as they have through the pandemic.

Such big swings have become typical recently, as investors handicap the chances of a deal on Capitol Hill to send more cash to Americans, restore jobless benefits for laid-off workers and deliver assistance to airlines and other industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic.