A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks have tumbled, snapping a two-day winning streak to close the first quarter on a sour note as volatility in equity markets stays high.
At the closing bell on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,779.99, down 196.32 points (1.09 per cent).
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 18.16 (0.87 per cent) to 2,068.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 46.56 (0.94 per cent) to 4,900.88.
US stocks have been choppy as investors ponder US monetary policy, Greece's prospects for staying in the eurozone and the big drop in oil prices.
Data Tuesday showed a gain in consumer confidence in March and a modest year-on-year rise in US home prices in January.
LONDON - European stock markets closed significantly lower following mixed eurozone data and contentious Greek bailout talks, while London's main index failed to gain after an upgrade of British economic growth.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 tumbled 1.72 per cent to end Tuesday at 6,773.04 points.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 index slumped 0.99 per cent to close at 11,966.17 points, while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.98 per cent to 5,033.64 points.
The euro fell to $US1.0740 from $US1.0825 late in New York on Monday.
Deflation in the eurozone eased in March, Germany's unemployment fell to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 and Britain's economy grew faster than expected in the 2014 final quarter with GDP expanding 0.6 per cent.
HONG KONG - Asian markets mostly rose after China's decision to ease mortgage rules fuelled hopes for further stimulus measures, but afternoon profit-taking pared a morning rally, with Tokyo and Shanghai ending more than one per cent lower.
Sydney added 0.78 per cent, or 45.4 points, to 5,891.5 and Seoul put on 0.54 per cent, or 10.99 points, to 2,041.03. Hong Kong gained 0.18 per cent, or 45.77 points, to 24,900.89.
But Tokyo - which at one point Tuesday was up almost one per cent - slipped 1.05 per cent, or 204.41 points, to finish at 19,206.99 as investors booked profits on the last day of the financial year.
And Shanghai, which has surged more than 13 per cent in the past three weeks, sank 1.02 per cent, or 38.67 points, to 3,747.90.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose 12.696 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5833.985.