Australia Markets closed

International markets roundup

NEW YORK: US stocks have ended mainly slightly higher, boosted by gains in technology and utilities shares, though investors were cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates for the second time this year when it concludes its policy meeting on Wednesday.

Investors are focused on how the Fed characterises its monetary policy, looking for hints if it would move to raise rates three or four times this year.

But shares of S&P 500 utilities, up 1.3 per cent, and technology, up 0.6 per cent, helped to lift the S&P 500.

Investors also awaited a court ruling, expected after the closing bell, that would decide the fate of AT&T Inc's $US85 billion offer for Time Warner. Shares of AT&T ended up 0.5 per cent, while Time Warner was flat and Charter Communications gained 2.8 per cent.

Investors appeared to shrug off a historic US-North Korea summit. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but their joint statement gave few details on how the goal would be achieved.

While defence stocks such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman dipped, the broader markets saw little impact from the summit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.01 per cent, to 25,320.73, the S&P 500 gained 0.17 per cent, to 2,786.85 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.57 per cent, to 7,703.79.

LONDON: Losses in miners and oil majors sent Britain's top share index into the red on Tuesday, while housebuilding stocks tumbled after weak results from Crest Nicholson piled extra pressure on a sector already hit by a run of poor economic data.

A summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un had limited impact on UK and European stock markets. The FTSE 100 fell 0.4 per cent, while the STOXX 600 edged down 0.1 per cent.

With a crucial vote on Brexit getting underway in the British parliament, a volatile sterling currency helped rein back the FTSE's gains.

In Europe, the regional FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.01 per cent, and Germany's DAX was flat at 12,842.30.

The European Central Bank meets on Thursday, with some expecting it to provide guidance for ending its bond-buying program at the end of this year.

TOKYO: Japanese shares rose on Tuesday, buoyed by optimism the US-North Korea summit in Singapore could eventually pave the way to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The benchmark Nikkei average advanced 0.33 per cent to 22,878.35, its highest closing since May 22 and not far from its four-month intra-day high of 23,050.39. MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.1 per cent.

Hong Kong stocks ended higher, after President Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a 'comprehensive' deal aimed at the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.

The Hang Seng index closed up 0.1 per cent at 31,103.06 points, while the China Enterprises Index ended 0.3 per cent higher at 12,206.57 points.

Shanghai stocks recovered from early losses to end higher on Tuesday, as sentiment improved after President Trump and the North Korean leader signed the deal. The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.9 per cent at 3,079.80 points, snapping a three-session losing streak.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.2 per cent higher at 3,825.95 points.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index was down just one point, or 0.01 per cent, at 8,958.81