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Asian stocks mixed as investors mull French election outcome

In this evening Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, photo, an American flag hangs on the front of the New York Stock Exchange. European stocks declined while most Asian markets rose Friday, April 21, 2017, ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Monday as investors weighed the results of the first round of the French presidential election.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent in morning trading to 18,870.24. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1 percent to 5,862.50. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,170.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.3 percent to 23,979.21, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 percent to 3,122.97.

FRENCH ELECTION: After the weekend vote, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen are advancing to a runoff in France’s presidential election. The outcome could lead to a reshaping of the country’s political landscape and set up a showdown over France’s participation in the European Union.

WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.3 percent to end the week at 2,348.69. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.2 percent to 20,547.76. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.1 percent to 5,910.52.

THE QUOTE: “It seems like a ‘relief rebound’ following the result of the French election just a few hours ago, which shows that Macron and Le Pen will go head-to-head in the final round. The first round election result was very much in line with earlier poll results,” Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore, said in a commentary.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 23 cents to $49.85 a barrel in New York. It shed $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $49.62 a barrel Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 29 cents to $52.25 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 110.06 yen from 109.09 yen late last week in Asia. The euro fell to $1.0834 from $1.0701.

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