Updated from 12:40 a.m. EST
Asian markets closed mixed Wednesday, with shares in Japan falling after Fitch Ratings cut its top-notch credit rating on
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished down by 1.3% to 8,213.22.
Fitch cut Toyota's credit rating to "AA" from "AAA", blaming the world's auto market slump and surging yen.
The yen stood at 94.95 to the dollar in late afternoon Tokyo trading, compared with 95.55 yen in New York late Tuesday. A rising yen hurts exporters like
and Toyota as it slashes the value of their profits when repatriated to Japan.
said it ended talks to sell its stake in
, creating trouble for Panasonic to turn Sanyo into a subsidiary.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 3.8%, and the Kospi index in South Korea finished to the upside by 4.7%. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia declined 2.3%, following news Tuesday that giant mining company
abandoned its offer to acquire rival
Stocks in Thailand fell after the country's main international airport canceled all flights as thousands of protesters swarmed the complex in efforts to bring down the government, stranding tourists and dealing a blow to the country's already-fragile tourism industry.
Stocks in Europe were trading lower. The FTSE 100 index in London fell 1.9%, while the DAX in Frankfurt slipped 1.4%.
U.S. stock futures were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street eked out a third straight day of gains Tuesday.
futures fell 4.4 points to 848.80, and were trading 7.75 points below fair value.
futures rose 1.75 points to 1137.25, and were 5.71 points below fair value.
Boosting the markets on Tuesday was an announcement from the
of $800 billion in new federal programs to help fix frozen credit markets.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
, at one point up some 164 points and at another down 161 points, ended Tuesday's session with a gain of 36.47 points, or 0.4%, at 8479.86. The S&P 500 added 5.6 points, or 0.7%, to 857.41, but the Nasdaq dropped 7.29 points, or 0.5%, to 1464.73.
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