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Around the World's Markets: New York

THE DOW average struggled to hold its head above 10,000 as the market was caught in the crossfire of options and futures expiries.

Heading into the afternoon the Dow was up by 33.86 points at 10,031.48 after spiking early on to 10,085 on the momentum carried forward from Thursday's 118-point gain.

The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite was off 5.94 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 2,457.02, sliding on profit taking following this week's strong run- up.