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AAP

2013-01-08

A roundup of trading on major world markets.

NEW YORK - Stocks fell on Wall Street as investors took some winnings off the table after the stock market's surge last week.

Investors are also preparing for corporate America's seasonal parade of earnings reports, which starts Tuesday.

Heading into the final hour of trade, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 58 points to 13,377.

The S&P 500 had dropped six points to 1,460 and the Nasdaq composite was seven points lower at 3,094.

Major bank stocks fell on news that JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others banks agreed to pay $US8.5 billion ($A8.16 billion) to settle federal complaints that they foreclosed on people who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

In a separate agreement, Bank of America settled with the mortgage-servicing company Fannie Mae over mortgage investments that lost value during the real-estate crash.

Bank of America will pay Fannie Mae $US3.6 billion ($A3.45 billion) and buy back $US6.75 billion ($A6.48 billion) in loans that the North Carolina-based bank and its Countrywide unit sold from January 1, 2000 through to December 31, 2008.

LONDON - Europe's main stock markets fell as investors booked profits from big gains last week, but bank shares have surged after a top rule-setting body said it would relax its asset requirements for the sector.

At the beginning of the first full trading week in 2013, London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies lost 0.41 per cent to 6,064.58 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 dropped 0.56 per cent to 7,732.66 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.68 per cent to 3,704.64 points.

Europe's major banking companies shot higher, however, after the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision announced it would give banks and financial institutions more time to meet global liquidity rules scheduled to begin in 2015.

The rules are aimed at improving the banking sector's ability to survive any future financial crises.

The Basel committee - the world's top banking regulatory body - said it would relax the severity of new rules that will require banks to increase their holdings of assets that can be sold quickly in times of stress.

HONG KONG - Asian markets mostly fell as last week's gains prompted profit-taking, overshadowing Friday's Wall Street rally and upbeat US job creation figures.

The yen rose slightly against the dollar and euro, although it remains under pressure on expectations the Japanese central bank will further loosen monetary policy.

Tokyo - which on Friday hit its highest level since before the quake and tsunami of March 2011 - slipped 0.83 per cent, giving up 89.10 points to 10,599.01.

Seoul was flat, dipping 0.68 points to 2011.26.

Hong Kong also finished flat, dipping 1.34 points to 23,329.75, but Shanghai closed up 0.37 per cent, or 8.37 points, at 2,285.36, with traders optimistic about upcoming data, including inflation and trade figures, due out of Beijing soon.

WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares rose, pushing the NZX 50 Index to a new five-year high.

With retirement village stocks setting the pace, the benchmark index gained 9.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,084.84, the highest since December 2007.