Australia Markets closed

European stocks rise

Brokers at the Frankfurt stock exchange. European stocks closed mostly higher on Tuesday on better news for Greece, which managed to raise funds to avert a messy default this week, traders said.

European stocks joined a rebound on Wall Street on Tuesday as the threat of an immediate Greek default receded, but the euro hit a two-month low point versus the dollar on falling German investor confidence.

London's FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.33 percent to 5,786.25 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.56 percent to 3,430.60 points and in Frankfurt the DAX 30 ended flat at 7,169.12 points.

Stocks had spent most of the day down and the euro slipped to $1.2662, its lowest level since September 7, after investor sentiment in Germany dropped unexpectedly, renewing fears the eurozone's biggest economy could tip into recession.

The index of investor confidence compiled by the ZEW economic institute fell to minus 15.7 points in November from minus 11.5 in October.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a gain to minus 10.0 points.

The euro later recovered to $1.2715, marginally up from $1.2709 late in New York on Monday.

China's yuan currency hit a record high against the US dollar as a recovery in the domestic economy and US political pressure helped the unit strengthen, analysts said.

The yuan touched an intra-day high of 6.2262 to the dollar, continuing to get a lift from trade data released Saturday that has boosted confidence in the domestic economy, according to analysts, while an expected US government report on exchange rates may be prompting the central bank to guide the yuan higher.

"China's economic recovery, albeit weak, may attract foreign capital to put investment in yuan-denominated assets, driving demand for the currency," a Beijing-based foreign exchange analyst, who declined to be named, told AFP.

Gold prices fell to $1,726.25 an ounce from Monday's $1,735.25 on the London Bullion Market.

On Tuesday there was some good news for Greece with the threat of a default this week receding.

It raised 4.0 billion euros in short-term bond auctions, which should help plug a financing gap left by a stalled EU-IMF loan.

Eurozone ministers failed Monday to clear the aid payment worth 31 billion euros for Greece which has been held up for months, deciding instead to hold another meeting next Tuesday on the issue.

While Greece had previously warned it wouldn't be able to cover a bond payment coming due Friday without the aid payment, European officials said the debt coming due can be rolled over.

The EU and the IMF must still agree on how to fund a two-year extension for Greece to meet its fiscal adjustment targets and how to put the country back on a path towards a sustainable debt level.

However Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras warned that "the risk of an accident is very high" that could tip the country into insolvency.

US stocks sank Tuesday amid worries about Greece's debt crisis and a US "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes at year-end expected to drag the economy into recession, but later turned upward on positive company results.

In midday trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.47 percent to 12,874.85 points.

The broad-market S&P 500 gained 0.51 percent to 1,387.05, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.10 percent to 2,907.09.

"A favorable 3Q earnings report and outlook from Dow member Home Depot Inc, along with a slightly stronger-than-expected read on US small business optimism are helping foster some of the resiliency," said analysts at US brokers Charles Schwab.

On the corporate front, better than expected third quarter results for Britain's ITV television helped perk up the FTSE 100. The company's shares jumped nearly 9 percent to 94.6 pence.

Shares in Vodafone slumped 2.46 percent to 162.5 pence after the British mobile phone giant said it had slumped into a net loss of £1.977 billion during its first half on massive writedowns linked to indebted eurozone countries Spain and Italy.

Vodafone's loss after tax for the six months to September 30, equivalent to $3.138 billion or 2.473 billion euros, came as the company said it suffered total impairments of £5.9 billion.