International markets news
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets.
NEW YORK - US markets closed out the year Monday with a sharp jump on news that Congress was close to a deal to avert the fiscal cliff -- but also on a 4.4 per cent gain by market giant Apple.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 166.03 points (1.28 per cent) at 13,104.14.
The broad-market S&P 500 gained 23.76 (1.69 per cent) at 1,426.19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite surged 59.20 points (2.00 per cent) to 3,019.51.
The gains reversed losses of the previous week when cliff worries were strong, and left the main indices with respectable gains for the year: 7.3 per cent for the Dow, 13.4 per cent for the S&P 500, and 15.9 per cent for the Nasdaq.
The markets pushed higher in expectation that the immediate threat of more than $400 billion in tax increases would mostly be avoided.
LONDON - European stock markets diverged on Monday, the final trading day of 2012 amid fading hopes of a deal to avert the US fiscal cliff of sharp tax hikes and spending cuts.
The London and Paris markets were operating for only half a day, resulting in thin trading volumes, while the Frankfurt DAX 30 closed for the year on Friday, with Germany's main index gaining 29 per cent in value during 2012.
Frankfurt soared over the course of the year after staging a sustained rally in late 2012 on eurozone debt progress and fresh stimulus moves by the US Federal Reserve, analysts said.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies gave up 0.47 per cent to 5,897.81 points.
For 2012 as a whole however, the index showed a gain of 5.84 per cent.
In Paris the CAC 40 fared better, gaining 0.58 per cent on Monday to 3,641.07 points, for an annualised gain of more than 12 per cent.
The Frankfurt stock exchange was closed on Monday, after posting a gain since January 1 of more than 29 per cent, to 7,612.39 points last week.
TOKYO - Asian markets fell in New Year's Eve-shortened trade on Monday as hopes that US lawmakers will reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff faded just a day before a deadline.
However there was some bright news out of China, where a survey by HSBC showed manufacturing activity hit a 19-month high in December.
Hong Kong closed slightly lower, edging down 9.67 points to 22,656.92, but it closed out the year 22.91 per cent higher.
The Shanghai market surged 1.61 per cent 2,269.13.
Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila were all closed for public holidays.
WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares fell on the last trading day of the year, though not enough to prevent 2012 being the best for the NZX 50 Index since 2004, with the strongest gains coming from growth stocks and companies making comebacks.
The NZX 50 fell 14.389 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4066.513 and has advanced almost 25 per cent in 2012, just below 2004's 25 per cent gain.
Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 13 rose and 14 were unchanged.
Turnover was a subdued $NZ24.6 million ($A19.65 million) in a shortened trading session, with brokerages on reduced staff over the festive holiday period.