By ELAINE KURTENBACH
AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares are mixed at the outset of the last trading week of the year as countries grapple with the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant. Many markets were closed for holidays. Benchmarks rose in Shanghai and Bangkok on Monday but fell in Tokyo and Seoul. Last week, the S&P 500 set a record as fears ebbed about the potential impact of omicron outbreaks. However, much is still uncertain about the variant, which is spreading extremely quickly, leading to a return to pandemic restrictions in some places. Hundreds of flights were cancelled in the U.S. over the holiday weekend, with airlines reporting COVID-related staffing problems. France reported more than 100,000 new cases in a daily record.