GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar up, stocks pare gains as central banks meet

Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:02pm EDT

* Dollar index recovers from five-week low
    * U.S. stock indexes surrender gains; agricultural shares
down
    * Aussie dollar skids after RBA chief hints at rate cut
    * Chinese central bank injects cash for first time since
February


    NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - Stock indexes surrendered most
gains on world markets on Tuesday as investors positioned ahead
of this week's meetings of the U.S., British and euro zone
central banks, while the dollar climbed from its recent
five-week low. 
    A pick-up in euro zone consumer and business confidence gave
stock markets an initial boost as they await policy clues from
the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England,
and Friday's U.S. jobs report for July.
    The dollar recovered from losses against the yen after data
showed U.S. single-family home prices rose in May, although the
pace of gains cooled compared with April. 
    But as the New York session wore on, stocks struggled to
maintain gains and indexes turned flat or negative. Verizon and
Mosaic led a selloff in the telecoms and materials sectors.
    "We're up against 1,700 on the S&P so it would take a lot to
make it move substantially higher," said Jack de Gan, chief
investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. "The nearest things on the horizon are the Fed
meeting and the jobs number, so I think we're going to tread
water here until that."
    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15.27
points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,506.70. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 0.59 points, or 0.04 percent, at 1,684.74.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.89 points, or 0.36
percent, at 3,612.03. 
    Verizon fell 2.2 percent and was the biggest drag on
the Dow industrials and the S&P 500.     
    MSCI's world index was flat and well off the
global day's session high, as was the FTSEurofirst 300 
index of top European shares, which closed little changed. 
    Shares of potash producers and related agriculture companies
were volatile after Russia's Uralkali dismantled one
of the world's largest potash partnerships by pulling out of a
venture with Belarus Potash Co. 
    Uralkali said the decision might lead to a fall in the
global potash price to below $300 per ton in the second half of
2013, from $400 per ton now. 
    In New York trade, Mosaic Co fell 18.3 percent,
Potash Corp slid 18.2 percent and Agrium Inc 
fell 5.4 percent.  
    
    DOLLAR GAINS
    The U.S. dollar continued to edge away from Monday's
five-week low as investors viewed its sharp drop over the last
two weeks as a chance to get back in ahead of the conclusion of
the Fed meeting and this week's growth and jobs data. 
The dollar index was last up 0.2 percent. The dollar was
last up 0.1 percent against the yen.
    "I think the Fed is not going to want to rock the boat, but
what could change market expectations is the U.S. data that is
coming out," said Alvin Tan, FX strategist at Societe Generale.
    "It is not only the Fed that is coming up tomorrow, we also
have U.S. second-quarter GDP, ISM data and on Friday we have
nonfarm payrolls ... if these come in strong, the market is
going to start pricing in a faster tapering cycle again." 
  
    Currency traders were also watching the Australian dollar
, which reached a two-week low after hints from the
central bank's governor of another rate cut at next week's
Reserve Bank of Australia meeting. 
    "(RBA) Governor Stevens' comments that the inflation
environment remains soft came in on the dovish side at a
critical juncture for sentiment," said Christopher Vecchio,
Currency Analyst at DailyFX in New York. 
    In Asia, Japan's Nikkei bounced up 1.5 percent as
the yen eased, though stocks elsewhere in the region finished
flat. China's central bank's first injection of funds into money
markets since February was balanced by some mixed data.
 
    
    COMMODITIES PRESSURED
    Commodities stayed under pressure on concerns about China's
outlook. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast data on Thursday
will show its manufacturing sector may have shrunk in July for
the first time in 10 months. 
    Copper hit a three-week low, gold fell 0.1
percent at $1,325.50 an ounce and U.S. crude lost 1.4
percent to change hands at $103.07 a barrel.     
    German bund futures were little changed before this
week's ECB meeting, where the central bank is expected to give
some details on its plans to provide "forward guidance" on rates
for the first time.
    U.S. Treasuries prices were choppy as traders positioned for
the release of second-quarter U.S. economic growth data, the Fed
statement and the Treasury's next refunding announcement, all
due on Wednesday.
    Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes slipped 1/32 in
price, with the yield at 2.6025 percent from 2.61 percent late
on Monday.