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SYDNEY, Dec 27 AAP

December 27 2012, 08:36AM

A roundup of trading on major world markets.

NEW YORK - US stocks dipped Wednesday amid ongoing investor uncertainty as President Barack Obama headed back to Washington to try to secure a year-end 'fiscal cliff' deal with Republican lawmakers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 25.74 points to 13,113.74 in late trade.

The broad-market S&P 500 lost 4.34 points to 1,422.32, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite shed 15.51 points at 2,997.05.

"The action today through Friday will be heavily influenced by news on the fiscal cliff negotiations. Underlying that will be support from the traditional year-end bullish bias," said Briefing.com's Dick Green.

The White House and Congress have until the end of the month to reach a compromise on how to avert a year-end fiscal crisis that could lead to stiff tax hikes and drastic budget cuts.

Experts say a plunge over the so-called "fiscal cliff" could take the world's biggest economy back into recession.

Obama was to head back to the capital late Wednesday from Hawaii, and lawmakers are also expected back in Washington on Thursday.

LONDON - All three main European stock markets will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday night, Australian time, but will reopen for business on Thursday.

TOKYO - Asian stocks are higher in quiet post-Christmas trade, with Tokyo shares lifted by a weaker yen which sank to a 20-month low against the greenback.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday jumped 1.49 per cent, or 150.24 points, to 10,230.36 as the Japanese currency dipped past 85.00 yen against the dollar for the first time since April 2011.

A strong yen is negative for Japanese markets as it erodes exporters' revenue and makes their products less competitive overseas.

Seoul closed flat, adding 0.43 points to 1,982.25, while Shanghai gained 0.25 per cent, or 5.52 points, to 2,219.13.12.