GLOBAL MARKETS-US stocks cut losses, dollar falls on Fed minutes
* Wall Street pares losses, European shares end lower * Dollar weakens broadly after minutes suggest Fed ready to ease soon * Eurogroup chief keeps Greek extension hopes alive * Weak Japanese data adds to worries about global growth By Wanfeng Zhou NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks trimmed most losses, Treasury yields fell and the dollar tumbled broadly after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting suggested the U.S. central bank was ready to ease monetary policy soon. Shares had traded lower earlier in the session after weak Japanese data revived worries about world economic growth and on uncertainty surrounding Greece, whose leaders meet with European officials this week aimed at securing more time push through reforms. The Federal Reserve is likely to deliver another round of monetary stimulus "fairly soon" unless the economy improves considerably, minutes from the central bank's August meeting said. "This is quite a surprise, this announcement, and you are seeing the market react a bit favorably towards it," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York. Even though the meeting was held before a recent improvement in the economic data, Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, said moves in stocks and the dollar suggest "the market is questioning if the improvement we're seeing is 'substantial' enough for Chairman (Ben) Bernanke. "I think he wants the (recently improving) economic data to translate into private sector job creation," Krosby said. "Over all in general you can see the dollar weakened, telling you the initial reaction from the markets is that it is sooner rather than later that the Fed will come in." On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 26.76 points, or 0.20 percent, at 13,176.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 1.07 points, or 0.08 percent, at 1,414.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.26 points, or 0.27 percent, at 3,075.52. The MSCI global share index fell 0.2 percent to 325.81, having hit its highest level since early May on Tuesday. European shares fell from a recent 13-month high, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index of European shares ending 1.2 percent lower. Earlier, Japan said exports slumped the most in six months in July as shipments to Europe and China tumbled, adding to concerns over global demand. U.S. Treasuries rallied after the Fed minutes. Benchmark 10-year notes were trading 24/32 higher in price to yield 1.7174 percent. The dollar fell 1.1 percent to 78.44 yen, while the euro climbed 0.4 percent to $1.2522 after hitting a seven-week high of $1.2538. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras conferred with Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday and asked that Greece be given more time to accomplish austerity goals. Juncker appeared to keep the door open to an extension, saying a decision to grant more time would depend on a review by the European Union and International Monetary Fund of Greece's progress. Samaras will also meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande later this week. But Merkel said there will be no decisions at Friday's meeting with Greece. Oil prices rose, bolstered by Fed easing hopes, a sharp drop in oil inventories and tropical weather threats. Brent crude advanced 36 cents to $115.00. U.S. crude rose 42 cents to end at $97.26 per barrel.
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