International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve extended its bond-swapping program, known as Operation Twist, for six months to help boost the flagging economy.
The program, scheduled to expire at the end of June, was extended through the end of the year, the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee announced on Wedneyday after a two-day meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session down 12.94 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 12,824.39.
The S&P 500-stock index fell 2.29 (0.17 per cent) to 1,355.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq rose a meager 0.69 (0.02 per cent) to 2,930.45.
LONDON - European stock markets were mixed on Wednesday amid hopes the US Federal Reserve would announce more stimulus to boost the world's biggest economy and as a government emerged in crisis-struck Greece.
The European single currency rose versus the dollar as traders also digested the outcome of a G20 summit aimed at stamping out fires in the 17-nation eurozone.
At the close, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.64 per cent to 5,622.29 points.
In Frankfurt the DAX 30 rose 0.45 per cent to 6,392.13 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.28 per cent to 3,126.52 points.
In Madrid the Ibex-35 index rose 1.53 per cent to 6,796.10 points, and in Milan the FTSE MIB rose 2.13 per cent to 13,732 points.
The euro rose to $US1.2702 from $US1.2686 late on Tuesday in New York.
HONG KONG - Asian markets mostly climbed on hopes for a fresh stimulus drive by the US Federal Reserve to kick-start its economy while G20 leaders pledged to "restore confidence" in world finances.
European heads at the G20 summit in Mexico also vowed to begin looking at a region-wide banking union as they attempted to soothe investor concerns over the debt-riddled eurozone.
Tokyo rose 1.11 per cent, adding 96.44 points to end at 8,752.31, Seoul climbed 0.65 per cent, or 12.35 points, to 1,904.12 and Sydney closed 0.22 per cent, or 9.1 points, higher at 4,132.4.
Hong Kong ended 0.53 per cent higher, adding 102.18 points to 19,518.85 but Shanghai was off 0.34 per cent, or 7.92 points, at 2,292.88.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 index fell 35.59 points, or 1 per cent, to 3444.79.