GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar fall on mixed earnings, China fears

Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:58pm EDT

* Nasdaq gains on Facebook results; Dow, S&P mostly flat

* German Ifo, UK GDP reinforce European recovery picture

* Euro firms; German, U.S. bond prices fall

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - Global equity markets eased and the dollar fell on Thursday after mixed results from blue-chip companies on both sides of the Atlantic and renewed concerns about the slowing pace of growth in China weighed on investor sentiment.

U.S. stocks rebounded off earlier weakness as gains in technology companies, especially Facebook, lifted the Nasdaq and pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to trade slightly above break-even.

The dollar fell against the euro and the yen as investors saw positive economic news in Europe, but a rise in U.S. business spending plans for a third straight month in June was not enough to drive the U.S. currency.

In Europe, profit warnings by German heavyweights BASF and Siemens hit the country's DAX index and cast a shadow over the broader European market, which was seen vulnerable to further declines.

Results from General Motors and Dow Chemical Co. were generally positive, but with the possible exception of big U.S. banks, corporate America's earnings for the most part have failed to ignite strong Wall Street gains.

Facebook Inc was an exception, notching its biggest single-day percentage gain ever with a 27.6 percent jump to $33.83 a day after the online social network company reported a big jump in mobile advertising revenue.

Facebook was by far the most active Nasdaq-listed share.

Of the 233 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted results through early Thursday, 67.8 percent beat analyst expectations, slightly better than the past four quarters and above the 63 percent average since 1994, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S said.

"To the extent that earnings continue to be strong, that helps to take off some of the perception that we've gone too far, too fast," said Mitch Rubin, chief investment officer at RiverPark Advisors in New York, where he helps oversee $2.1 billion.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.69 points, or 0.00 percent, at 15,541.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 1.46 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,687.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 19.16 points, or 0.54 percent, at 3,598.76.

Global shares as measured by MSCI's all-country world index fell 0.1 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed down 0.45 percent to 1,209.11.

Major indexes in Britain, France and Germany also closed lower, while the Dow and slipped too.

In London, mining shares were also big losers, led by Anglo American and Rio Tinto, as mounting worries about China halted a recovery rally in the sector.

German government bonds fell as a bout of better data out of major European economies this week prompted investors to dump safe-haven assets.

German business morale rose for a third straight month in July, Spain's unemployment rate fell for the first time in two years and UK growth sped up in the second quarter, separate releases showed.

German 10-year yields were up 3.2 basis points at 1.67 percent, while German Bund futures settled down 44 ticks at 142.28 after Wednesday's more than full-point drop.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 4/32 in price to yield 2.5996 percent.

The euro was near a one-month peak in New York trading after the German Ifo survey. The influential think tank's business climate index rose to 106.2 in July from 105.9 a month ago, just ahead of forecasts of a 106.1 reading.

The euro was up 0.35 percent at $1.3246, while the dollar index was down 0.42 percent at 81.948.

The dollar was down 0.75 percent at 99.49 yen.

Brent crude oil rebounded, rising 56 cents to $107.75 a barrel.

U.S. crude futures rose 23 cents at $105.62.

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