International markets roundup

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks have dipped, following leading euro zone equity markets lower on worries about a potential Greek exit from the currency bloc.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 36.87 points (0.20 per cent) to 18,126.12 at the closing bell on Thursday.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 2.69 points (0.13 per cent) at 2,120.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 8.62 points (0.17 per cent) at 5,097.98, retreating from Wednesday's record.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index fell 0.79 per cent and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.86 per cent as the tense standoff between heavily indebted Greece and its creditors hung over a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialised nations in Germany.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, who was attending the G7 meeting, reportedly warned of the potential for a Greek exit of the 19-nation eurozone and said such a scenario would not be "a walk in the park" for the single-currency area.

Analysts also noted that the Shanghai Composite Index fell 6.5 per cent on worries about tighter margin requirements in Chinese markets.

Broadcom lost 1.6 per cent following news it would be acquired by fellow chipmaker Singapore-based Avago Technologies for $37 billion. Broadcom had jumped 21.5 per cent on Wednesday as news broke of the impending deal.

Avago advanced 0.6 per cent on the deal, which will create a leader in the surging market for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Big-box retailer Costco Wholesale fell 0.8 per cent as revenues for the quarter ending May 10 came in at $US25.52 billion ($A33 billion), below the $US26.63 billion forecast by analysts.

LONDON - European equity markets have ended the day mixed as G7 finance ministers met under the shadow of the increasingly tense Greek crisis.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies finished 0.11 per cent higher compared with Wednesday's close to 7,040.92 points.

But Greece weighed on eurozone stocks, with Frankfurt's DAX 30 falling 0.79 per cent to 11,677.57 and in Paris the CAC 40 dropped 0.86 per cent to 5,137.83 points.

The European single currency rose to $US1.0909 from $US1.0906 late in New York on Wednesday, when it had briefly touched a one-month nadir of $1.0819.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the seven wealthiest nations held talks in Dresden on Thursday on the global economy and tax evasion. But optimistic comments out of Athens about an imminent deal that were quickly refuted by Greece's creditors put the Greek crisis high in investors' minds.

"Traders are sick of the non-stop back and forth, and whenever Greece is in crisis talks there is always a series of comments from different parties involved in the negotiations which contradict each other, and traders do not know who to trust," said IG analyst David Madden.

"It was a delayed reaction, but European stocks fell on Thursday once it had been fully determined from new official comments that Greece is still far apart from creditors over conditions for the country's bailout," concurred CMC market analyst Jasper Lawler.

Officials in Athens said Thursday they hoped to conclude a deal with Greece's European Union-International Monetary Fund creditors by Sunday to unlock the final 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) of bailout loan money following four months of fractious talks.

HONG KONG - Japan's Nikkei stock index has climbed for a 10th straight day with the dollar advancing to a 12-year high against the yen.

However, Shanghai plunged on Thursday after a more than 15 per cent surge in the past eight sessions.

Wall Street provided an ideal lead, with the Nasdaq surging to a new record high, while the euro edged up slightly with investors watching with trepidation snail-pace talks between Greece and its creditors over reforming its bailout.

Tokyo rose 0.39 per cent, or 78.88 points, to finish at 20,551.46, the longest winning streak since a 13-day run in February 1988. Seoul added 0.16 per cent, or 3.39 points, to 2,110.89.

However, Shanghai slumped 6.50 per cent, or 321.45 points, to 4,620.27 on speculation authorities will introduce measures to cool the market's recent rally. Hong Kong tracked the losses, sinking 2.23 per cent, or 626.90 points, to 27,454.31.

The dollar has resumed its bull run against the yen on growing expectations the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by the end of the year while Japan's central bank is tipped to embark on more monetary easing to kickstart a soporific economy.

WELLINGTON - A rebound in Spark New Zealand's share price from a year-low has helped the NZX Index close higher.

The benchmark rose 19.699 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5777.637 on Thursday.


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