GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks steady on quiet day, oil falls further

Fri Jan 3, 2014 11:06am EST

* Snow-blasted Wall Street ticks up after selloff
    * European shares firm after Asian markets roiled
    * Euro runs into profit-taking, yen gets a lift
    * Gold bounce continues, oil falls further


    By Rodrigo Campos
    NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - A global gauge of equities was
little changed on Friday following a sharp loss on the first day
of trading in the new year, while gold added to recent gains and
U.S. crude prices traded at one-month lows.
    Low volumes were expected in the United States as a
snowstorm blanketed the country's North East, including
financial hubs New York and Boston. A speech by outgoing Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at 1930 GMT will be the focus for
any fresh details on the Fed's economic stimulus withdrawal
plans.
    "After a first trading day jolt, the market is stabilizing
and, where we are now, it could easily be swayed in either
direction due to lack of attendance from the inclement weather,"
said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in
Bernardsville, New Jersey.
    "There is a faction of investors that are looking at
yesterday's pullback as an opportunity to enter equities at a
discounted price."
    The Dow Jones industrial average was up 51.76 points,
or 0.31 percent, at 16,493.11. The S&P 500 Index was up
3.39 points, or 0.19 percent, at 1,835.37. The Nasdaq Composite
Index was down 2.55 points, or 0.06 percent, at
4,140.52. 
    European stock markets resisted a wave of risk aversion that
had swept across Asia, where stocks suffered their toughest
session in almost a month after a measure of activity in China's
services sector slipped back in December, just as one for
manufacturing had on Thursday.    
    The benchmark FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.6
percent, and MSCI's index of equities in 45 countries
 was up slightly.
    
  
    
    Spot gold rose for a fourth session to hit a two-week
high as weaker equities spurred demand for the metal as a
safe-haven asset. It was recently up 0.8 percent at $1,234.60 an
ounce.
    Expectations for a rise in Libyan supply and speculation of
a buildup in U.S. stockpiles kept pressure on oil prices after
they tumbled Thursday. U.S. crude fell to a one-month low
after four consecutive declines and Brent dipped after
posting its largest daily drop since late June.
    U.S. crude was recently down 0.8 percent at $94.72 a barrel
and Brent dipped 0.2 percent to $107.57.
    
    EURO WOES
    The yen rose as investors shunned risk and took profits
after rallies in the dollar and the euro, helping the Japanese
currency bounce from recent five-year lows.
    The dollar last traded 0.4 percent lower at 104.34 yen
, down from a five-year high of 105.44 yen set Thursday.
    The euro, the top-performing major currency of 2013, shed
0.8 percent to 142.05 yen, extending its losses in
the wake of its 1.2 percent slide the previous day.
    Against the U.S. dollar, the euro lost 0.5 percent to
$1.3606.
    U.S. Treasuries prices fell, sending benchmark 10-year
 yields back over 3 percent, with no major economic
releases due and investors cautious heading into a busy week,
including the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's
December meeting.
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