Global stock markets have had a mixed session, holding at multi-year highs in the absence of much news to shift the mood.

On Wall Street, the market wavered through the session but remains near a five-year high.

Traders were looking for direction before a meeting of eurozone leaders in Brussels.

The European Central Bank is also gathering late tonight and is expected to keep the official interest rate on hold at 0.75 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed relatively flat, gaining 7 points to 13,987, the S&P 500 Index rose by 1 point to 1,512, and the technology focussed Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3 points to 3,168.

In Europe, results were also mixed.

In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.2 per cent to 6,295.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay fines totalling about $600 million to US and British regulators over the long-running Libor interest rate rigging scandal.

The bank's shares closed 1.4 per cent higher.

In Germany the DAX fell 1.1 per cent, and the CAC 40 in France lost 1.4 per cent.

To domestic markets, and futures trade is suggesting a small rise at the start of the Australian session - the ASX SPI 200 index is 7 points higher at 4,890.

On commodity markets, the spot price of gold had risen to $US1,677 an ounce, and West Texas crude oil was relatively unchanged, at $US96.30 a barrel.

In currency trade, the Australian dollar is continuing its decline against most major currencies; at 8:20am (AEDT) it was buying 103.2 US cents, 76.4 euro cents, 96.5 Japanese yen, 65.9 British pence and around $NZ1.22.

 

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