International markets roundup
Market watch top headlines
A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks opened essentially unchanged after a mixed report on durable goods orders.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.87 points (0.03 per cent) to 13,904.00.
The broad-based S&P 500 edged lower by 0.45 point (0.03 per cent) to 1,496.49, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.42 (0.01 per cent) to 3,130.07.
The trading came after durable goods orders for January sank by 5.2 per cent because of a big drop in aircraft orders.
However, excluding transportation orders, which can be volatile month-over-month, new durable goods orders were up 1.9 per cent, almost double the increase in December.
LONDON - European stock markets rebounded on better-than-expected bond auctions in Italy, a day after stocks slumped on inconclusive elections in the debt-laden eurozone country.
Milan's benchmark FTSE MIB index of top companies jumped 1.77 per cent to close at 15,827 points, having tumbled 4.89 per cent on Tuesday as Italy's national election failed to produce a clear winner.
Elsewhere Wednesday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.88 per cent to 6325.88 points, as data confirmed that the British economy shrank 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 1.04 per cent to 7675.83 points and the Paris CAC 40 gained 1.92 per cent to 3691.49 points, as dealers took their cues also from rising German consumer confidence and overnight gains on Wall Street.
HONG KONG - Asian markets mostly rose after US Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke reaffirmed the central bank's huge monetary easing scheme, but a stronger yen sent Tokyo lower.
Investors remained hesitant and the euro came under pressure after Italy's election results which left no party in overall control, raising concerns that uncertainty in Rome could see the eurozone return to the dark days of crisis.
Tokyo closed down 1.27 per cent, or 144.84 points, at 11,253.97, Sydney was up 0.66 per cent, or 33 points, at 5036.6, and Seoul rose 0.20 per cent, or 4.03 points, to 2,004.04.
Shanghai closed up 0.87 per cent, or 19.88 points, at 2,313.22, while Hong Kong finished 0.25 per cent stronger, adding 57.32 points to 22,577.01.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 rose 37.40 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4276.31, the highest close since October 2007.