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A screen above the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow
Jones industrial average, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. U.S. stocks recovered much of an early plunge, but the price of oil suffered its worst one-day drop since September. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly in the red Thursday, surrendering early gains as oil drifted lower and sentiment remained fragile following big swings on Wall Street.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 2.4 percent to 16,017.26 and South Korea's Kospi inched down 0.3 percent to 1,840.53. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.3 percent to 18,641.56. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 4,864.00. China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.8 percent to 2,951.49. Markets in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand also were lower. Indonesia rose.

Trader Fady Tanois works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street
Trader Fady Tanois works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street as the price of oil continues to plunge. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)

GLOBAL TURBULENCE: Stock markets have taken a beating along with the price of oil as investors believe stock prices have risen too high at a time when the near-term global economic outlook is for modest growth rather than a strong upswing. The IMF lowering its forecast for global growth this year to 3.4 percent, oil falling below $30 a barrel and China's growth slowing to a 25-year low last year have all contributed to the sell-off this week. The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold at ultra-low levels when its governing council meets later in the day as it monitors risks from turmoil in global markets.


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THE QUOTE: "It is not advisable to interpret any rallies as evidence that we have seen a near-term bottom," Bernard Aw, a market strategist at IG in Singapore, said in a report. "As disciples of technical analysts know very well, a downtrend is typically marked by periods of rebounds."

WALL STREET: On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed down but off their lows. The Dow closed down 1.6 percent to 15,766.74. The S&P 500 index fell 1.2 percent to 1,859.33, its lowest closing level since April 2014. At one point, it was down nearly 4 percent. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1 percent to 4,471.69, closing at its lowest since October 2014.

Traders Richard Rosenblatt, left, and Gordon Charlop work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading
Traders Richard Rosenblatt, left, and Gordon Charlop work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street as the price of oil continues to plunge. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)

ENERGY: The price of oil fell again after a brief pause. Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was down 12 cents to $28.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The February contract, which expired Wednesday, dived 6.7 percent, or $1.91, its worst daily drop since September, to close at $26.55 in New York. It was U.S. oil's lowest since May 2003. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, lost 2 cents to $27.85 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 116.98 yen from 117.19 yen in the previous trading session. The euro rose to $1.0895 from $1.0874.


Trader Michael Smyth works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street
Trader Michael Smyth works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street as the price of oil continues to plunge. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)

Michael Capolino, right, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading
Michael Capolino, right, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Energy stocks are leading another sell-off on Wall Street as the price of oil continues to plunge. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew/AP)


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