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AAP

2012-12-04

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - Stocks on Wall Street edged lower during Monday's session after a surprisingly weak manufacturing report heightened concern that fiscal deadlock in Washington is already hurting the economy.

The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index fell to 49.5 in November, below the 51.2 reading forecast by analysts.

Any number below 50 on the scale means that manufacturing is contracting.

Businesses expressed concerns about the fiscal cliff, a series of government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start in 2013 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit.

With an hour left of trade the Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points to 13,003, the Standard and Poor's 500 was down 2.36 points at 1,414 and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.94 points to 3,009.

LONDON - European stocks and the euro rose, with Frankfurt and Paris hitting highs for the year in the wake of positive Chinese and eurozone manufacturing data, as EU finance ministers met for more

talks on the debt crisis.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index edged up by 0.08 per cent to close at 5,871.24 points, as Britain awaits a government budget update on Wednesday along with new growth forecasts.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.4 per cent to 7,435.21 points and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.26 per cent to 3,566.59.

In intraday trading, Frankfurt hit its highest point since July 8, 2011, while Paris reached its highest level so far this year.

The launch of a plan by Greece to buy back some of its huge debt at discounted prices also boosted market sentiment.

HONG KONG - Asian markets were mixed after data showing Chinese manufacturing activity had picked up pace in November were tempered by concerns over US talks to avert the fiscal cliff.

Tokyo closed up 0.13 per cent, or 12.17 points, at 9,458.18 and Seoul ended up 0.37 per cent, or 7.12 points, to 1,940.02.

However Hong Kong tumbled 1.19 per cent, or 262.54 points, to 21,767.85, while Shanghai closed down 1.03 per cent, or 20.35 points, at 1,959.77.

WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares fell after telecommunications network operator Chorus said a draft view of price curbs proposed by the regulator could wipe $160 million from earnings.

The NZX 50 Index fell 0.99 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,049.09.