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AAP

2012-11-07

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - US stocks closed with solid gains as the country goes to the polls to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for president, with the economy the key issue in the tight election.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 133.08 points (1.01 per cent) at 13,245.52 in closing trade.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 11.09 (0.78 per cent) to 1,428.35, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 12.27 (0.41 per cent) to 3,011.93.

Wall Street has been more behind the president's Republican challenger Romney, who supports low investment-related taxes.

But most in the business world want a clear decision that will allow the government to move on fixing the extremely austere "fiscal cliff" legislation that comes into play at year end.

LONDON - Europe's main stock markets closed higher in cautious trading as investors await the outcome of the US presidential election and digest news of bumper profits from BMW.

Markets held on to their gains on Tuesday despite a downbeat survey which showed that private sector business activity across the eurozone shrank at its fastest rate in three and a half years in October.

London's FTSE 100 index of top companies closed up 0.79 per cent at 5,884.9 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.7 per cent to 7,377.76 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 rose 0.87 per cent to 3,478.66 points.

The euro sank to $US1.2764 - the lowest level since September 11 - weighed down by concerns over debt-plagued Greece.

It later stood at $US1.2818, up from $US1.2791 late in New York on Monday.

HONG KONG - Asian markets were mixed in cautious trade as investors awaited the outcome of the knife-edge US presidential election, while concerns over the eurozone returned to the fore.

Eyes are also on the start this week in China of the Communist Party's 18th congress, which will see a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.

Tokyo on Tuesday softened 0.36 per cent, or 32.29 points, to 8,975.15, Seoul rose 1.05 per cent, or 19.95 points, to 1,928.17 and Sydney closed 0.24 per cent, or 10.7 points, higher at 4,484.8.

Hong Kong slipped 0.28 per cent, or 61.97 points, to 21,944.43 while Shanghai closed down 0.38 per cent, or 8.03 points, at 2,106.00.

WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose 19.40 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 3,927.67.