TOKYO (AP) -- Shares fell in early European trading Thursday, but Asian shares mostly advanced, taking their cue from the latest record highs on Wall Street. Chinese investors are holding back ahead of a key communist party meeting next week.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent in early trading to 5,347.80, while Germany's DAX slipped 0.2 percent to 12,948.52. Britain's FTSE 100 was up less than 0.1 percent at 7,535.23. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures inching down 0.05 percent to 22,805. S&P 500 futures lost 0.1 percent to 2,550.10.
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ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent to finish at 20,954.72. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,794.50. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7 percent to 2,474.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.3 percent to 28,472.66, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.1 percent to 3,386.10.
JAPAN RALLY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index has closed at 21 year highs over the past few days, lifted by optimism over the latest economic data and anticipation of strong corporate results in the upcoming quarterly reporting period. Expectations are rising that an Oct. 22 nationwide election for the more powerful lower house of Parliament will reinforce a strong majority for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democrats, who favor tax cuts for corporations.
THE QUOTE: "Markets expect good results from the upcoming earning seasons and investors are putting bets on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's victory in the upcoming election," says Jane Fu, sales trader at CMC Markets in Singapore.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 38 cents to $50.92 a barrel. It rose 38 cents to $51.30 a barrel overnight in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 31 cents to $56.63 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed, at 112.27 yen, up from 112.26 yen. The euro rose to $1.1862 from $1.1819.