International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks have soared after the Federal Reserve announced a new "QE3" bond-buying program focused on boosting jobs and pulling the housing market back to life.
After trading flat before the Fed's announcement on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 206.51 points, or 1.55 per cent, at 13,539.86.
The S&P 500-stock index added 23.43 points, or 1.63 per cent, to 1,459.99, while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 41.52 points, or 1.33 per cent, to 3,155.83.
The Federal Reserve announced a new program of purchasing $US40 billion ($A38 billion) a month in mortgage-backed bonds aiming at dragging down long-term interest rates.
It also pledged to keep its current ultra-low benchmark interest rate in place until mid-2015, and said it would continue its monetary easing efforts until it saw substantial improvement in the jobs market.
LONDON - European stock markets mostly fell as dealers waited to see whether the Federal Reserve would decide measures to stimulate the US economy at a monetary policy meeting.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index bucked the trend to close up 0.65 per cent at 5,819.92 points on Thursday.
But Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.45 per cent to 7,310.32 points, while Paris's CAC 40 dropped 1.18 per cent to 3,502.09 points.
Milan fell 1.07 per cent and Madrid shed 0.70 per cent.
The euro edged up to $US1.2909 from $US1.2899 late in New York on Wednesday, when the European single currency went above $US1.29 for the first time for four months.
HONG KONG - Asian markets were mixed while the euro edged higher, ahead of the end of a US Federal Reserve meeting that dealers increasingly expect will see a new round of stimulus.
Regional firms linked to Apple were also range-bound after the US giant unveiled the iPhone 5 in California, with some analysts giving it a lukewarm response.
Tokyo rose 0.39 per cent, or 35.19 points, to 8,995.15, Seoul was flat, edging up 0.66 points to 1,950.69 and Sydney eased 0.50 per cent, or 21.9 points, to 4,339.4.
Hong Kong eased 0.14 per cent, or 27.76 points, to 20,047.63 and Shanghai was off 0.76 per cent, or 16.17 points, at 2,110.38.
WELLINGTON - The Index fell 3.67 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3786.04.