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Asia stocks down in thin year-end trading

Asian stocks were down Tuesday in thin end-of-year trading, following a subdued lead from the US where investors took profits.
Wall Street on Monday had its worst day in nearly a month, falling from record highs after the extended rally of recent days.
Hong Kong ended a half-day of trading almost 0.5 percent down, although the bourse rallied more than seven percent in December.
Shanghai was marginally up, Taipei was off, and Sydney shed almost two percent.
Jakarta, Tokyo, Manila, Seoul and Bangkok were all closed for a public holiday.
"While market volumes are predictably light, investors continue to strike a year-end cautionary tone as December optimism is gradually giving way to 2020's uncertainty," Stephen Innes, chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.
Asian investors were also watching for key policy announcements early in the New Year.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to give his New Year's speech on Wednesday, with all eyes on nuclear-armed Pyongyang's threat of a "new way" after its end-of-year deadline for sanctions relief from the US, analysts said.
China's Xi Jinping is also scheduled to give a New Year's address.
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.68 yen from 108.70 yen


© 2020 AFP
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