International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks have closed higher after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke gave a gloomy assessment of the economy to Congress and said the Fed would act if the situation gets worse.
Trade was volatile as investors appeared to shrug off Bernanke's downbeat testimony to Senate lawmakers and focus on prospects that the central bank will have to step in with additional economic stimulus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,805.54, gaining 78.33 points (0.62 per cent) that more than erased Monday's losses.
The S&P 500-stock index advanced 10.03 (0.74 per cent) to 1,363.67, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 13.10 (0.45 per cent) at 2,910.04.
Stocks reversed earlier losses as investors hoped for more monetary policy easing to boost economic growth.
LONDON - Europe's main stock markets have closed narrowly mixed, giving up modest early gains after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a gloomy outlook on the US economy.
Dealers said the markets were firmer at the start on hopes that Bernanke, while giving an expected downbeat report to Congress, would also outline fresh stimulus measures for the flagging US economy.
By the European close, no such measures were forthcoming, disappointing investors here and in New York.
In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies lost 0.59 per cent at 5629.09 points. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 edged up 0.18 per cent to 6577.64 points while in Paris the CAC 40 slipped 0.09 per cent to 3176.97 points.
Madrid added 0.40 per cent but Milan lost 0.94 per cent.
In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency also reversed early gains, slipping to $US1.2222 from $US1.2271 in New York late Monday.
HONG KONG - Asian shares are widely up, led by a sharp rise in Hong Kong, amid hopes of Chinese and US stimulus measures ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke appearing before the US congress.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index on Tuesday closed up 1.75 per cent, or 333.99 points, at 19,455.33, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.62 per cent, or 13.23 points, to 2,155.20 on bargain-hunting after hitting a three-year low on Monday.
In Tokyo the Nikkei climbed 0.35 per cent, or 30.88 points, to 8755.00, while the Kospi in Seoul was up 0.23 per cent, or 4.17 points, at 1,821.96.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose 1.52 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 3468.86.