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