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Shares steady in thin pre-Thanksgiving trading, as investors watch strife in Middle East


TOKYO — European shares rose modestly Wednesday while Asian markets mostly fell as investors kept a wary eye on developments in the Middle East after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. Trading was light ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 6,305.83 and the CAC 40 of France gained 0.2 percent to 4,831.52. Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent at 10,945.75. Wall Street also looked set for gains. Dow futures were up 0.1 percent at 17,781.00 and S&P 500 futures added 0.1 percent to 2,085.90.

TURKEY-RUSSIA: The downing by Turkey of a Russian fighter plane that Turkey said had violated its airspace and ignored warnings added further complexity to the crisis in Syria. Russia said Turkey had betrayed it and that jets had not violated Turkish airspace, as NATO worked to reduce tensions at an extraordinary meeting.

THE QUOTE: "An escalation in geopolitical risk is sending a chill through the markets. Traders are opting to sit on the side lines, especially ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday," Stephen Innes, a senior foreign exchange trader for OANDA, said in a commentary.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.4 percent to 19,847.58 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.4 percent to 22,498.00. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 percent to 2,009.42 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.6 percent to 5,193.70. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9 percent to 3,647.93. Stock benchmarks fell in Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and Thailand, while Indonesia and the Philippines rose.

ENERGY: The price of U.S. crude oil was down 34 cents to $42.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.12, or 2.7 percent, to $42.87 a barrel in New York on Tuesday, following a 3.4-percent jump on Monday. Brent crude fell 45 cents to $45.68 a barrel. It rose $1.29, or 2.9 percent, to $46.12 a barrel in London on Tuesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 122.33 yen from 122.43 yen on Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.0673 from $1.0654.

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