International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks scored small gains as investors weighed encouraging housing data and falling crude oil prices that stoked hopes for more growth in the tepid economy.
The stock indexes opened mixed but found positive momentum after existing-home sales data beat expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 13.32 points, or 0.1 per cent, to close at 13,577.96.
The S&P 500 index rose 1.73 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 1,461.05, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 4.82 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 3,182.62.
The National Association of Realtors announced that existing-home sales across the country rose by 7.8 per cent from July to a two-year high, and were up 9.3 per cent from a year ago.
Home builders in particular benefited from a separate report from the Commerce Department showing housing starts rose 2.3 per cent from July, including a 5.5 per cent jump in starts on single-family homes.
Apple held above the $700 line, adding 0.03 per cent at $702.10.
LONDON - European stocks have closed higher, lifted by US housing data and Japan's extra economic stimulus following similar moves from the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day up 0.35 per cent at 5,888.48 points, while in Frankfurt, the Dax 30 was 0.59 per cent higher at 7,390.76 points.
In Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.54 per cent to 3,531.82 points.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced after a two-day policy meeting it would boost an asset-purchasing fund by 10 trillion yen ($A122.98 billion) to 80 trillion yen while also keeping interest rates between zero and 0.1 per cent.
HONG KONG - Hong Kong shares closed up 1.16 per cent higher, a four-and-a-half month high, after Japan's central bank followed its US and European counterparts in announcing stimulus moves.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 239.98 points to 20,841.91 on turnover of HK$63.67 billion ($A7.89 billion), ending at its highest close since May 4.
Stocks rallied following the BoJ announcement.
Chinese shares closed up 0.40 per cent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index increased 8.29 points to 2,067.83.
Shares of Japan-linked firms snapped a two-day losing streak as anti-Japan protests over a chain of disputed islands eased in China.
Technology firms also rose after China on Tuesday unveiled plans to support its information technology industry.
WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares fell as some of the country's biggest companies, including Telecom, Chorus and Port of Tauranga shed their dividend.
The NZX 50 Index fell 6.57 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 3,797.89.