International markets news
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets.
NEW YORK - US stocks closed higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 hitting its highest level in five years, helped by a steady December jobs report and a surprise improvement in a key index for the service sector.
The December job creation numbers came in at a modest 155,000, not enough to spark great optimism but showing strength given the unsteady political policy climate of recent months.
In addition the latest ISM index on the service sector showed unexpected growth in December, the fastest in 10 months, led by new orders and employment.
That helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average finish up 43.85 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 13,435.21.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 7.10 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 1,466.47, its highest close since December 31, 2007.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up just 1.09, or 0.04 per cent, to 3,101.66, held back by a 2.8 per cent fall in Apple shares.
LONDON - European stock markets rebounded from early losses as investors mulled the impact of US jobs data amid growing concerns over the Federal Reserve's bond-buying scheme.
Minutes from the Fed's December policy meeting indicated overnight that the US central bank's huge monetary easing measures could be scaled back sooner than expected.
But financial markets also had in hand the US government's jobs report for December, which showed only a bit of growth, as expected, prompting some to hope the Fed would stay in stimulus mode.
In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies added 0.7 per cent to close at 6,089.84 points.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index was up by 0.26 per cent at 7,776.37 points and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.24 per cent to 3,730.02.
HONG KONG - Tokyo and Shanghai stocks advanced on their first trading day of 2013, but other Asian markets were hit by profit-taking after the US fiscal cliff deal and fears over the Fed's bond-buying scheme.
Investors took their cue from New York, where equities ended in the red after minutes from the December Federal Reserve policy committee meeting indicated the bank's huge monetary easing measures could be scaled back sooner than expected.
Seoul was off 0.37 per cent, or 7.47 points, at 2,011.94, and Hong Kong shed 0.29 per cent, or 67.51 points, to 23,331.09.
Tokyo, however, climbed 2.82, or 292.93 points to 10,688.11 - having surged more than three per cent at one point - as the yen tumbled on relief over the fiscal cliff deal.
And Shanghai, which was also back for the first time this year, closed up 0.35 per cent, adding 7.86 points to 2,276.99.
WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares fell, as a rally that had pushed the NZX 50 Index to a near five-year high faltered on concerns the gains had left some equities fully valued.
The NZX 50 fell 7.3 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,075.04 points.