Asian stocks down as US talks stall

<p>Asian stocks closed lower today as US fiscal cliff talks continue. </p>

Asian stocks closed lower today (December 31st) on the last trading day of 2012 as policymakers in the US remained unable to come to a conclusion on the so-called fiscal cliff.

Concerns that tax increases and spending cuts that will automatically come into force in the new year if an agreement is not reached has resulted in haven buying in dollar and yen assets, while gold climbed on commodities markets.

However, an end to the talks is becoming increasingly unlikely as just one day before the deadline, lawmakers are still taking part in negotiations.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed low at 22,656.92, while London's FTSE 100 was down 0.4 per cent at 5900.18 in early trade.

Germany's markets were closed for new year and several others were only trading until midday.

The Japanese yen has been on a steady decline since last month, dropping around eight per cent since officials called an election and investors started looking for a change in administration.

Learn about the markets and find spread betting tips at City Index.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.