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China stocks jump, other markets await Fed minutes

HONG KONG - Pent-up investor demand fueled a jump in Shanghai stocks after Chinese markets reopened Thursday following an extended holiday but other world bourses were lackluster ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.

European shares were uneven in early trading. France's CAC 40 was up 0.1 percent to 4,669.67 and Germany's DAX added 0.1 percent to 9,981.63. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent to 6,321.84.

U.S. shares were poised to open lower: Dow futures slid 0.3 percent and broader S&P 500 futures lost 0.4 percent.

Investors get a trifecta of central bank news Thursday with policy meeting minutes from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England as well as a BOE policy decision. But the Federal Reserve and its rate hike intentions take center stage, with minutes also due from its Sept. 16-17 meeting. That's when the U.S. central bank refrained from raising interest rates from ultra-low levels, citing global market turmoil and low inflation. The report will provide more detail on the thinking behind the Fed's decision as well as possible clues on timing of the rate hike, which many economists now expect to come next year.

"Perhaps knowing that any upside in China is a result of catch-up action, market participants in Asia are not overly keen to continue the rally we have seen during the past few sessions," said market analyst Bernard Aw of IG in Singapore. "The markets want to know just how keenly the discussions are on the subject of the timing of rate normalization," he said in a commentary.

The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China soared 3 percent to 3,143.36 as trading resumed after a weeklong holiday. Other regional benchmarks struggled following several days of gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index slipped 1 percent to 18,141.17. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7 percent to 2,019.53. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7 percent to 22,354.91. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.2 percent to 5,210.40.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $48.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 72 cents to settle at $47.81 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, which is used to price international oils, climbed 15 cents to $51.92 a barrel in London.

The dollar slipped to 119.76 yen from 119.97 yen in the previous day's trading. The euro climbed to $1.1297 from $1.237.

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