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Global Shares Lower on Monday          07/22 05:53

   Global shares were mostly lower Monday, tracking losses on Wall Street, 
though a newly launched technology stocks market in Shanghai soared with its 
trading debut.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly lower Monday, tracking losses on 
Wall Street, though a newly launched technology stocks market in Shanghai 
soared with its trading debut.

   France's CAC 40 edged 0.2% higher to 5,562.84, while Germany's DAX also 
gained 0.2% to 12,291.87. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 7,548.88. U.S. 
shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures adding 0.2% to 27,171. S&P 500 
futures picked up 0.3% to 2,984.70.

   Prices of many of the 25 tech companies listed on the Shanghai Stock 
Exchange's STAR Market more than doubled, with one company, Anji 
Microelectronics Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., logging a 400% advance.

   Regulators have approved 25 companies in information technology and other 
fields for the STAR Market. The market, modeled on the U.S.-based NASDAQ, 
reflects the ruling Communist Party's desire to channel private capital into 
its development plans. It gives small Chinese investors a chance to buy into 
tech industries that until now have turned to Wall Street to sell shares.

   Trading kicked off with fanfare early Monday with the city's Communist Party 
secretary, Li Qiang, and the chairman of China Securities Regulatory 
Commission, Yi Huiman, joining to bang a ceremonial gong.

   Elsewhere in Asia the mood was more subdued. 

   Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2% to finish at 21,416.79. Australia's S&P/ASX 
200 fell 0.1% to 6,691.20. South Korea's Kospi edged less than 0.1% lower to 
2,093.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 1.4% to 28,371.26, while the Shanghai 
Composite index shed 1.3% to 2,886.97. Taiwan's index rose while Southeast 
Asian benchmarks fell.

   News that the Chinese government has decided to allow full foreign ownership 
of securities, fund management and futures companies next year, one year 
earlier than previously planned, did not help lift shares in Shanghai.

   A weekend Cabinet announcement also promised to increase the limit on 
foreign ownership of insurance companies from 25% and to open pension and asset 
management to foreign competitors. It gave no timetable or other details.

   Washington and other trading partners complain Beijing is dragging its feet 
on promises to open its financial industries after it joined the World Trade 
Organization in 2001.

   Business groups have welcomed industry-opening steps promised over the past 
18 months but say foreign competitors need to see licensing and other 
restrictions before they can know whether operations might be profitable.

   On Friday, U.S. stocks retreated further from their records to cap the 
weakest week for the S&P 500 since May as sentiment darkened after Iran said it 
seized a British oil tanker in the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran 
and the West.

   Momentum for U.S. stocks has slowed since early June, when they began 
soaring on expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates for 
the first time in a decade to ensure the U.S. economy doesn't succumb to 
weaknesses abroad. The Fed's next meeting is scheduled for the end of this 

   "With the markets wholly captivated by the looser the policy, the better the 
risk opportunities, investors could remain singularly focused on the Federal 
Reserve, and the European Central Bank policy decision and communications as 
global equity markets continue to have their ups and down based on the 
perceived degree of accommodative central bank policy," Stephen Innes of 
Vanguard Markets said in a commentary.

   ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added $1.12 to $56.88 a barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 34 cents to 
$55.76 on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose $1.44 to $63.91 
per barrel.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.83 Japanese yen from 107.74 yen on 
Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1220 from $1.1221.


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