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AAP

2013-01-24

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - US stocks opened higher on Wednesday following solid earnings reports from leading technology companies.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 43.23 points (0.32 per cent) at 13,755.44.

The broad-based S&P 500 edged up 0.59 point (0.04 per cent) to 1,493.15.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 8.84 (0.28 per cent) at 3,152.01.

The positive opening came after technology companies IBM and Google reported solid earning results on Tuesday after the market closed. Apple is slated to report earnings later on Wednesday.

LONDON - European stock markets closed with mixed results on Wednesday after British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans for a referendum on his country's future within the European Union (EU), and official data revealed a deepening of Spain's recession.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies added 0.30 per cent to 6,197.64 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.15 per cent to 7,704.54 points, but in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.40 per cent to 3,726.17 points.

Madrid's IBEX 35 fell by 0.22 per cent to 8,613.3 points.

The euro dipped to $US1.3297 from $US1.3321 late on Tuesday in New York.

HONG KONG - Most Asian markets closed lower, in spite of a Wall Street rally.

Tokyo's Nikkei fell 2.08 per cent, or 222.94 points to 10,486.99 on Wednesday and Seoul closed 0.81 per cent lower, losing 16.11 points to 1,980.41, but Sydney rose 0.18 per cent, or 8.7 points, to 4,787.8.

Hong Kong eased 0.1 per cent, shedding 23.89 points to 23,635.10 and Shanghai ended up 0.25 per cent, or 5.77 points, at 2,320.91 thanks to a late rally.

Japan's Nikkei was hit after the central bank on Tuesday said it would fall into line with the new government and set a two per cent inflation target, while also launching an unlimited asset-buying scheme from next year.

The bank also lifted its growth forecast, predicting gross domestic product would expand 2.3 per cent in the year ended March 2014, up from an earlier 1.6 per cent estimate.

WELLINGTON - The NZX50 Index was up 0.64 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 4187.72 on Wednesday.