International markets roundup

A roundup of trading on major world markets:

NEW YORK - Solid earnings and major pharmaceutical-sector deals lifted stocks, producing a sixth straight day of gains for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.12 points (0.40 per cent) to 16,514.37, the third day in a row to see a gain.

The S&P 500 added 7.66 (0.41 per cent) at 1,879.55, while the Nasdaq put on 39.91 (0.97 per cent) to 4,161.46.

A series of deals between Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly shuffled more than $US20 billion ($A21.51 billion) in assets.

The market was also cheered by a plethora of earnings that mostly beat expectations.

LONDON - Huge deal-making in the pharmaceutical sector gave European stocks a shot in the arm, even though tension over the crisis in Ukraine lurked in the background.

Shares in European pharmaceutical groups surged owing to a major reshaping of the sector, driven by Novartis of Switzerland and GlaxoSmithKline in London.

London's FTSE 100 gained 0.85 per cent to 6,681.76 points compared to Thursday's closing level - the last trading day before European markets closed for Easter.

Germany's DAX 30 soared 2.02 per cent to 9,600.09 points while the CAC-40 in Paris gained 1.18 per cent to 4,484.21 points.

The euro rose to $1.3795 from $1.3793 late in New York on Monday.

HONG KONG - Asian markets closed mixed after the first day's trading for some markets after the Easter break, even though Wall Street provided another strong lead.

The US dollar eased slightly against the yen on Tuesday after rallying on Monday in response to Japan's announcement of another massive trade deficit.

Tokyo gave up early gains as the yen reversed course against the US dollar, with the Nikkei ending 0.85 per cent lower, giving up 123.61 points to finish at 14,388.77. Hong Kong ended down 0.13 per cent, or 29.56 points, at 22,730.68.

Shanghai closed up 0.34 per cent, or 7.00 points, at 2,072.83, Sydney gained 0.46 per cent, or 25.1 points, to 5,479.3, and Seoul added 0.25 per cent, or 5.00 points, to 2,004.22.

Business remained thin as traders returned from the long weekend. Markets in Sydney and Wellington will also be closed Friday for Anzac Day.

WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose just 1.591 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5104.939.

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