June 19, 2013
Italian uncertainty hits European shares; Wall Street slightly higher
US stocks were mostly higher today, led by gains in McDonald's and technology shares, but Italian equities and bonds sank after Prime Minister Mario Monti's decision to resign stoked concern about who will lead the euro zone's third biggest economy out of its debt crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 11.64 points, or 0.09 percent, to 13,166.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.83 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,417.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.03 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,980.07.
Blue chip shares in France, Germany and the UK helped European stocks close higher, as political turmoil in Italy unnerved investors and prompted a flight to safety.
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 1.84 points, or 0.2 percent at 1,134.53, supported by gains on Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE 100. Basic resource stocks were the top risers after China reported overnight that its economic recovery remained intact.In Asia, Japan's Nikkei share average edged higher as gains in index heavyweights Fast Retailing Co Ltd and Advantest Corp erased losses caused by investors booking profits in export-focused firms after weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data.
The Nikkei ended 0.1 percent higher at 9,533.75, after trading as high as 9,584.46, its best level since late April.