GLOBAL MARKETS-Bank stocks climb, bond yields dip after Portuguese bank rescue
(Adds European market close, quote) By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Bond prices rallied and European bank stocks rose on Monday after Portugal devised a plan to prevent the collapse of one of its biggest lenders. U.S. stocks were little changed at the midpoint of the session, with the S&P 500 coming off its worst week since 2012, as concerns over higher U.S. interest rates eased following Friday's U.S. employment report. Lisbon on Sunday announced a nearly 5 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) rescue of the country's largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo, preventing it from collapsing and potentially destabilizing the regional banking sector. "Fundamentally, earnings season has been OK, but the recent pace of increases (in the market) can't continue forever," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey. "Portugal was a net positive," he said, but "we may pause at this level unless next quarter can produce the kind of top-line growth associated with a better recovery." Portugal's 10-year yield fell to 3.648 percent, down 7 basis points, as investors bought the bonds on relief after the package was announced. Other European bond markets also rallied, with yields on Spanish and Italian bonds moving lower . The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares closed down 0.19 percent, giving up early gains. Pan-European banking stocks finished up 0.3 percent, however. The MSCI All-World Index was little changed, up 0.02 percent. U.S. financial shares rose, buoyed by a 2.2 percent gain in Berkshire Hathaway after the company helmed by Warren Buffett said on Friday that second-quarter profit soared 41 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11.30 points, or 0.07 percent, at 16,504.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 4.43 points, or 0.23 percent, at 1,929.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 17.69 points, or 0.41 percent, at 4,370.33. FED FEARS EASE The rate-sensitive U.S. two-year Treasury note yield was little changed at 0.4683 percent and the 10-year yield fell to 2.48 percent, declining in tandem with European yields. Bond yields were also capped by Friday's U.S. jobs data for July, which showed job growth lower than forecast, the unemployment rate higher than expected and almost no growth at all in average hourly earnings. A Reuters poll on Friday after the jobs data showed that a majority of top Wall Street bond firms do not see a rise in U.S. interest rates before the second half of next year. Major currencies were little changed on Monday. The euro was at $1.3413, off last week's eight-month low of $1.3365, while the dollar stood at 102.49 yen, off Wednesday's four-month peak of 103.08 yen. U.S. crude oil futures were off 5 cents at $97.83 per barrel , recovering from a six-month low of $97.09 on Friday, and Brent crude was up 23 cents at $105.07. Spot gold edged down 0.5 percent at $1,287.30 an ounce. (Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Dan Grebler)
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.