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U.S. markets closed lower on Monday for a straight second trading session. Stocks on Wall Street were weighed by a slump in oil prices after Goldman Sachs cut its price forecasts for 2015 sending the energy-sector south. The DOW JONES index lost -0.54% or 96 points, closing at 17,640.84. The S&P 500 declined by -0.81% with a final quote of 2,028.26. Global economic weakness, slumping oil prices and the upcoming Greek elections continue to weigh on the markets.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added +0.85% to 24,231.34 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,236.40 points, a gain of +0.22% as market participants continued to take profits. China's trade balance fell more-than-expected, official data showed on Tuesday. The trade balance fell to a surplus of 49.1 billion in December from 54.50 in November. Analysts expected a reading of 49.85 billion.
Japan's Nikkei, after being closed yesterday due to a bank holiday in Japan lost -0.64% closing at 17,087.71 points. Weak U.S. markets and the fall in oil prices weighed the index down but losses were trimmed as the Japanese yen weakened against the greenback. . The current Eco Watchers Survey, the index for Japan's current economic climate rose unexpectedly to 45.2 points beating forecasts of 44.3 after it plunged to a 12-month low of 41.5 in November. The index outlook rose by 2.7 to 46.7 from a previous reading of 44.0 points. Yesterday current account data showed a surplus of 433 for November. Analysts expected a reading of 133.2.
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