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International markets roundup

NEW YORK - US Treasuries rallied across the board on Wednesday, while the dollar fell after trading higher for most of the session as President-elect Donald Trump did not provide much clarity on his future policies.

US stocks also weakened initially after Trump took aim at the pharmaceutical industry for charging high prices. He said pharmaceutical companies are "getting away with murder."

"US Treasuries rose because stocks caved in with Trump's pharmaceutical comments," said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income at Action Economics in San Francisco. "Overall Trump did not really say anything new. As a result, we're still in wait-and-see mode with respect to his policies."

In his first press briefing as US president-elect, Trump presided over a wide-ranging session that touched on topics such as allegations of Russia spying, Mexico, his business interests, and drug pricing.

But the briefing, which lasted longer than people expected, did not break new ground, analysts said.

Traders were hoping that after making generally broad statement for the last two months on what he intended to do as president, Trump would give more specific details about key policy reforms.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.2 per cent on the day at 19,901.57, while the S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to 2,262.98. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1 per cent, to 5,526.05, a day after hitting a record high.

LONDON - World stocks edged down from recent highs and the dollar steadied ahead of a news conference by US President-elect Donald Trump in which he is expected to give more details about his plans for the US economy.

While Trump's election campaign calls for tax cuts and more infrastructure spending have boosted US shares and the dollar, his protectionist statements and a flurry of off-the-cuff Tweets have kept many investors from adding to risky positions.

European shares fell 0.3 per cent while the UK's FTSE 100 was on track to snap an 11-day winning streak, with both indexes hurt by weakness in industrials. Stock futures on Wall Street eased 0.1 per cent as the post-US election rally shows signs of running out of steam.

Trump has vowed to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office on Jan. 20 and has threatened to slap huge tariffs on imports from China.

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and top members of Trump's transition team are discussing a controversial plan to tax imports.

Economists have warned that protectionist measures could stifle international trade and hurt global growth.

That brings Trump's press conference, scheduled for 1100 EST (0300 AEDT), into sharp focus.

"From a currency perspective, markets will aim to get a clearer picture on trade, fiscal stimulus and the new administration's relationship to the Fed," Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a note to clients.

TOKYO - Asian shares rose to two-month highs on Wednesday as investors looked to President-elect Donald Trump's news conference later in the day for clues on his policies on taxes, fiscal spending, international trade and currencies.

While Trump's election campaign calls for tax cuts and more infrastructure spending have boosted US shares and the dollar, his protectionist statements and a flurry of off-the-cuff Tweets have kept many investors on edge.

European shares are expected to open slightly lower after Tuesday's gains, with spread-betters seeing Britain's FTSE and Germany's DAX falling 0.1 per cent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent, essentially returning to where it was just before the November 8 US presidential election. It has recovered from post-election losses of over 5 percent.

The gains were led by South Korean shares, which scaled a 1-1/2-year peak as Samsung Electronic, Asia's biggest company by market cap, hit a record high, cheered by solid earnings published last week.

Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.4 per cent, snapping three days of losses.

WELLINGTON - New Zealand shares were mixed, with A2 Milk Co jumping near the close after rival Bellamy's cut its forecasts, while Tourism Holdings and Summerset Group Holdings fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 32.02 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,069.6. Within the index, 20 stocks fell, 19 rose and 11 were unchanged.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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