International markets roundup

NEW YORK: US stocks are up, led by gains in banks, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to another record high.

Technology companies, which have weakened since the presidential election, recovered some of their recent losses on Monday.

European stocks were mostly higher, but Italy's market fell slightly after Italian voters rejected constitutional changes, leading the country's premier to say he would resign.

The Dow was up 86 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 19,257 at midday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 15 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,206. The Nasdaq composite increased 53 points, or 1 per cent, to 5,308.

Small-company stocks on again outpaced the rest of the market.

LONDON: UK shares rose as investors shrugged off the result from Italy's referendum.

Royal Bank of Scotland found support after the bank announced it had reached a settlement with three of the five shareholder groups who allege they were misled over RBS's 12 billion pounds rights issue in 2008.

Italian shares rose as investors bet against an immediate snap election in Italy following Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's resignation after defeat in a constitutional reform referendum.

Markets had been jolted by the scale of Mr Renzi's defeat which pointed to further turbulence and political crisis in the euro zone's heavily indebted third-largest economy and particular uncertainty was focused on the country's fragile banks.

The euro fell as low as $US1.0508 and the Milan bourse shed as much as two per cent at the opening, while Italian bond yields spiked sharply higher.

But most of these moves quickly reversed. The euro roared back above $1.06, still down on the day, Italian stocks moved higher, and Germany's DAX and Europe's FTSEuroFirst index of leading 300 shares both rose 1.5 per cent.

Italian financials rose 0.5 per cent having fallen more than 4 per cent, and shares in the world's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, were flat on the day after being suspended at the opening.

Markets had earlier taken some encouragement when Austria's far-right presidential candidate was soundly defeated by a pro-European contender, confounding forecasts of a tight election.

The European Central Bank meets on Thursday amid much speculation it will announce a six-month extension of its asset buying programme and widen the type of bonds it can purchase.

TOKYO: Asian shares tumbled while Europe opened higher after Italian voters rejected constitutional changes, raising questions over whether the country will stay in the European Union and keep using the euro.

Market reaction was muted as trading began on a new cross-border stock link between Hong Kong and the neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen, widening access to China's markets for global investors.

It allows international investors to buy and sell 880 high-growth small and midcap stocks traded on China's smaller second exchange in Shenzhen via the Hong Kong exchange. A similar link between Hong Kong and China's main exchange in Shanghai began two years ago.

The Shanghai Composite Index sank 1.2 per cent to 3,204.71 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.8 per cent to 18,274.99.

Seoul's Kospi gave up 0.4 per cent to 1,963.36, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.3 per cent to 22,505.55 and shares in Manila also fell.

WELLINGTON: The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 50.14 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6,854.71.

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