1 Jan 2012

US shares up at year's end

9:35 am on 1 January 2012

Shares in the United States ended the year up.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 69 points on Friday, the last trading day of the year, to close at 12,218.

However, they were still higher than at the start of 2011.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 5.49 points, or 0.43% at 1,257.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.59 points, or 0.33%at 2,605.15.

However, markets in Europe were down for the year.

The FTSE 100 in London ended the year down 5.5%. It dipped 0.10% in a half-day session on Friday to close at 5,572.28.

The DAX in Frankfurt finished the year down 14.7%, though it added 0.85% on Friday to close at 5,898.35.

The CAC-40 in Paris was down 16.95% over the year, though it gained 1.03% to 3,159.81.

Frankfurt and Paris will reopen on Monday and London on Tuesday.

The Libyan revolution led to a surge in oil prices in the first half of last year, while the price of gold set a new record of $US1921.15 per troy ounce in September.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February was $US107.02 per barrel on Friday. West Texas Intermediate for February was $US98.99 per barrel.