New Zealand, Australian stock markets open higher

August 14, 2011 - 8:44 PM

SYDNEY (AP) — Stock markets in Australia and New Zealand opened strongly on Monday, after stocks in the U.S. and Europe closed higher last week at the end of a volatile several days.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 58.3 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,230.9 in early morning trading.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX50 index was up 24.4 points, or 0.76 percent, to 3240.9.

Global markets fluctuated wildly last week as investors already concerned over Europe's worsening debt crisis were further rattled by signs the U.S. might be headed toward recession.

Stocks in Europe and on Wall Street ended the volatile week higher on Friday following positive retail sales data out of the U.S. and after European regulators imposed temporary bans on short-selling of financial shares late Thursday.