International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks scored solid opening gains on hopes that political leaders will find a way to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in January.
After five minutes of trade on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 108.12 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 12,696.43.
The S&P 500-stock index advanced 16.34 points, or 1.20 per cent, to 1,376.22.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite leaped 33.96 points, or 1.19 per cent, to 2,887.09.
LONDON - European stock markets soared on rising prospects that the United States can avoid falling back into recession, while traders seemed to take an upcoming EU budget summit in stride.
The rally also came a day ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers that could unlock a critical instalment of bailout loans for Greece.
At close on Monday, London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies soared 2.36 per cent to 5,737.66 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose by 2.49 per cent to 7,123.84 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 shot up by 2.93 per cent at 3,439.58 points.
Milan's FTSE Mib jumped 3.05 per cent and Madrid's Ibex 30 rose 2.31 per cent.
The euro climbed to $US1.2812 from $US1.2741 late in New York on Friday.
HONG KONG - Mot Asian markets closed higher on optimism US politicians will be able to agree a deal to avert a "fiscal cliff" that would tip the world's biggest economy back into recession.
The Nikkei in Tokyo enjoyed a third straight rally due to the yen's weakness after the front-runner to become Japan's next prime minister said he would push for unlimited monetary easing if his party won next month's general election.
Tokyo climbed 1.43 per cent, or 129.04 points, to end at 9,153.20 on Monday, Sydney rose 0.57 per cent, or 24.6 points, to 4,361.4, and Seoul was up 0.93 per cent, or 17.27 points, at 1,878.1.
Hong Kong ended up 0.49 per cent, or 103.35 points, at 21.262.36. Shanghai closed up 0.11 per cent, or 2.25 points, at 2,016.98 after dipping below a key support level to a nearly four-year low earlier in the day.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 fell 5.23 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3942.60.