GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stock indexes steady, yen stable as Portugal fears ease

Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:40am EDT

(Adds U.S. market openings, changes dateline; previous LONDON)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - Major global equities markets steadied and the yen stabilized against the U.S. dollar on Friday as worries about Portugal's biggest bank eased.

MSCI's All-World Index, however, was still down 1.6 percent for the week, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index was on track for its worst week since April.

Portugal's PSI 20 index was up 1.3 percent after the country's largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo, said late on Thursday that loan losses that hit its founding family would not put the bank at risk of running short of capital.

Shares in Portugal's largest listed lender are down more than 30 percent so far this week, its worst week on record.

The calmer market enabled Italy to sell 7.5 billion euros of bonds, the top of its targeted range, in an auction that sharply contrasted with Greece's three-year bond sale on Thursday, in which demand was hurt by fallout from Portugal.

"The systemic risk to the Portuguese banking system is limited, and that's what the market is telling you this morning," said Veronika Pechlaner, who helps manage $13 billion of assets at Ashburton Investments.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.14 points, or 0.15 percent, at 16,889.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.72 points, or 0.09 percent, at 1,962.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 5.90 points, or 0.13 percent, at 4,402.10.

Some early U.S. earnings reports sparked caution.

"Wells (Fargo) came in a little light, and while there was nothing really wrong with the quarter, it is one of the few banks that can be counted on to beat profit expectations and that didn't happen," said Matthew Kaufler, portfolio manager at Federated Investors in Rochester, New York. Wells Fargo shares were down 0.9 percent at $51.35.

The MSCI World index was down 0.1 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat.

Currency markets were largely steady, with the yen trading against the dollar at 101.33. It rose 0.12 percent to 137.72 against the euro.

The dollar was little changed against the euro at $1.3593.

U.S. Treasury bond prices edged higher on safe-haven demand stemming partly from lingering worries about Portugal.

Benchmark 10-year Treasuries were up 1/32 in price to yield 2.529 percent.

As tensions in the Middle East showed little sign of abating, Brent crude oil was off $1.17 at $107.50 a barrel. U.S. crude lost $1.12 to $101.8.

(Additional reporting by Lionel Laurent, Patrick Graham, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Chris Vellacott and Tricia Wright in London,; and Ryan Vlastelica in New York; Editing by Larry King and Dan Grebler)