International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks closed lower for a second straight day as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,008.68, down 64.33 points (0.49 per cent).
The S&P 500 fell 5.98 points (0.43 per cent) to 1,379.32 and the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 6.32 (0.21 per cent) to 2,939.52.
Traders had a batch of economic data to weigh, including numbers on consumer confidence, personal incomes and spending, and home prices.
The Commerce Department reported June personal spending, the main driver of the US economy, was essentially flat, while incomes rose 0.5 per cent, slightly better than expected.
Consumer confidence improved slightly in July after four months of declines as sentiment lags around historically low levels, according to a closely watched private survey released by the Conference Board.
And home prices fell less than anticipated in May: The S&P/Case-Shiller's 20-city index fell 0.7 per cent from a year ago. On a monthly basis, average home prices rose by 2.2 per cent for a second straight month.
LONDON - European stock markets fell into the red as traders began to fret about whether the US and European central banks would fight economic downturns with decisive monetary policies.
In London, the FTSE 100 dropped 1.02 per cent to close at 5635.28 points.
The Paris CAC 40 index gave up 0.87 per cent to 3291.66 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 edged down by 0.03 per cent to 6772.26 points.
Madrid was 0.94 per cent lower, and Milan fell by 0.62 per cent.
The euro rose to $US1.2316 from $US1.2259 in New York late Monday.
HONG KONG - Asian markets generally closed higher, their third consecutive positive session, as traders look for new stimulus measures from European and US central banks.
Tokyo stocks closed up 0.69, or 59.62 points, at 8,695.06, amid hopes for a firm recovery by Japanese high-tech manufacturers before their release of quarterly earnings.
Sydney gained 0.55 per cent, or 23.5 points, to 4,269.2, Seoul finished 2.07 per cent, or 38.20 points, higher at 1,881.99, and Hong Kong rose 1.08 per cent, or 211.41 points, to end at 19,796.81.
But Shanghai was down 0.3 per cent, or 6.28 points, to 2,103.63, on fears the slowing domestic economy may hurt corporate earnings.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 index rose 26.12 points or 0.74 per cent to 3545.01.