International markets news
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets.
NEW YORK - US stocks have edged lower as the deadline for the White House and Republican lawmakers to reach a deal to avert the looming fiscal cliff crisis creeps closer.
In the last half hour of trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 132.59 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 12,982.00.
The broad-market S&P 500 fell 1.64 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 1,418.29.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 1.41 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 2,988.53.
The White House and Congress have until New Year's Eve to reach a compromise on how to avert a year-end crisis that could lead to stiff tax hikes and drastic budget cuts.
LONDON - Europe's main stock markets have risen for the most part following a festive break and a rally in Tokyo, with Paris reaching a 2012 high.
Traders were focused on whether the United States would avert the 2013 fiscal cliff.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies was stable at 5954.30 points on Thursday; the DAX 30 gained 0.26 per cent to 7655.88 points in Frankfurt; and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.59 per cent to 3674.26 points, its highest level for the year.
TOKYO - Asian shares have risen, with Tokyo scaling a 21-month high thanks to a weaker yen, but pessimism lingers over the prospects about the US budget talks.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index on Thursday climbed 0.91 per cent, or 92.62 points, to 10,322.98, the highest level since March 11 last year when a massive quake struck Japan, sparking a tsunami and the worst atomic crisis in a generation.
Seoul closed 0.26 per cent, or 5.10 points, higher at 1,987.35, and Sydney gained 0.28 per cent, or 12.8 points, to 4,648.0.
Hong Kong climbed 0.35 per cent, or 78.6 points, to 22,619.78, while Shanghai eased 0.60 per cent, or 13.23 points, to 2,205.90.
WELLINGTON - New Zealand stocks rose in light holiday trading, helped by gains in Fletcher Building, with US fiscal cliff negotiations likely to be the focus through to the end of the year.
The NZX 50 Index rose 7.627 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4065.447. Within the index, 20 stocks rose, 18 fell and 13 were unchanged.
Turnover was a lower-than-average $46 million.