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AAP

2013-02-05

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - US stocks have retreated in early trading after Friday's dramatic surge, which took the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 14,000 points.

Leading analysts had predicted the Dow would struggle in the immediate aftermath of Friday's rally, when the Dow closed at levels not seen since 2007.

Five minutes into trade on Monday, the Dow was down 98.54 points, or 0.70 per cent, to 13,911.25.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 9.02 points, or 0.60 per cent, to 1,504.15.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down 15.85 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 3,163.24.

LONDON - European stock markets plunged and the euro dropped against the US dollar amid fears of political turmoil in Spain and Italy, with banking shares suffering some of the heaviest losses.

London's FTSE 100 index of top companies fell by 1.58 per cent on Monday to close at 6246.84 points.

Frankfurt's DAX slumped 2.49 per cent to 7638.23 points and Paris's CAC shed 3.01 per cent to 3659.91 points, its sharpest fall since mid 2012.

Madrid's IBEX 35 gave up by 3.77 per cent in value to 7919.6 points, while Milan's FTSE-Mib nosedived 4.50 per cent to 16,539 points.

Markets were jolted after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was pressured to resign amid a growing corruption scandal, while in Italy, the party of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi showed solid gains in polls ahead of national elections later this month.

HONG KONG - Asian markets closed mixed as late profit-taking offset a rally on Wall Street that was fuelled by upbeat jobs data out of the US.

The euro and US dollar were mixed against the yen on Monday after racking up healthy gains in New York on Friday.

Tokyo closed 0.62 per cent higher, adding 69.01 points to a 33-month high of 11,260.35, while Seoul slipped 0.23 per cent, or 4.58 points, to 1,953.21, and Sydney fell 0.28 per cent, or 13.6 points, to 4,907.5.

Hong Kong fell 0.16 per cent as dealers cashed in profits after the index spent most of the day in positive territory and around 21-month highs. The Hang Seng Index fell 36.83 points to end at 23,685.01, while Shanghai rose 0.38 per cent, or 9.13 points, to 2,428.15.

WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 gained 0.46 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 4246.40, edging back to the five-year high 4252.65 reached on January 31.