GLOBAL MARKETS-Steady stocks eye central banks; crude falls

Wed Jul 9, 2014 1:02pm EDT

* Brent at 1-month low as Libyan supply returns; WTI falls
the most since late May
    * Alcoa's beat boosts Wall Street stocks
    * Euro edges up versus dollar

 (Updates prices, adds crude oil comment)
    By Rodrigo Campos
    NEW YORK, July 9 (Reuters) - A global stocks index was
little changed on Wednesday ahead of key central bank news,
while Brent fell as Libyan pumps came back online.
    Markets were looking ahead to a speech by European Central
Bank President Mario Draghi, scheduled for 1830 GMT, and minutes
from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting, due at 2 p.m.
(1800 GMT), with special focus on any mention of a timeline to
raise U.S. interest rates and the Fed's take on strengthening
economic data.
    Alcoa Inc reported results after Wall Street closed
Tuesday, beating analysts' expectations and lifting the aluminum
maker's stock more than 3 percent.
    Stocks on Wall Street traded slightly higher, lifted by the
good earnings mood, but gains were barely making a dent on
losses sustained in the previous two sessions.
    "The market was encouraged by Alcoa, especially since we
were arguably oversold in the very short term," said Steve
Sosnick, equity-risk manager at Timber Hill/Interactive Brokers
Group in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
    "However, it's hard to predict big moves ahead of all the
news coming out next week, and there's no reason to suspect we
couldn't pull back further," he said, in reference to the heavy
earnings calendar.
    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35.39 points or
0.21 percent, to 16,942.01, the S&P 500 gained 4.6 points
or 0.23 percent, to 1,968.31 and the Nasdaq Composite 
added 17.52 points or 0.4 percent, to 4,408.98.
    The FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares was
flat on the day and MSCI's global gauge of stocks
 ticked up less than 0.1 percent.
    Brent crude oil traded at a one-month low below $109 a
barrel after a Libyan oilfield restarted and supply worries
faded, while weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose and gasoline
demand faltered.
    "The gasoline demand drop and Cushing stock rise should have
a little bit of a negative effect on WTI prices," said Gene
McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford,
Connecticut.
    Brent fell 0.6 percent to $108.32 and U.S. crude
 lost 1.2 percent, the most since late May, to $102.18.
    The U.S. dollar edged 0.1 percent lower against a basket of
currencies and the euro strengthened 0.1 percent versus
the greenback.
    Regarding the Fed minutes, any discussion by Fed members
about a recent uptick in U.S. consumer prices will be key after
Fed Chair Janet Yellen downplayed heating inflation data after
the June meeting as being "noisy." 
    "The characterization by Fed Chair Yellen of the inflation
pop-up as noise really took the wind out of the sails of the
near-term hawks," said Steven Englander, global head of G10
foreign exchange strategy at CitiFX in New York.
    U.S. bond markets were steady ahead of the Fed minutes and
Draghi's appearance in London, where two years ago he delivered
his speech pledging to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro.
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield was up
slightly at 2.579 percent with traders setting up for $21
billion in 10-year note supply. The yield on Germany's Bund
 briefly slipped to a 14-month low of 1.211 percent.
    Upbeat U.S. employment data last week prompted some
economists to predict the Fed would raise interest rates earlier
than previously thought, but yields have since fallen, with
investors cautious about the strength of the recovery.
    Gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,321.60 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos Additional reporting by Ryan
Vlastelica, Karen Brettell, Lorenzo Ligato and Richard Leong;
Editing by James Dalgleish)
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