* World share indexes slip as growth worries weigh
* U.S. crude dips below $90 for first time this year
* Euro dips as talk of ECB rate cut gains strength
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 4 Shares in major world markets
slipped on Monday as China's plans for tighter controls on its
property sector added to concern about slower global growth,
while indicators that oil markets are amply supplied weighed on
The euro dipped after last week's weak euro zone
manufacturing data increased expectations the European Central
Bank could cut interest rates to boost the region's economy.
On Sunday, China reported that its services sector expanded
at the slowest pace in five months in February, and factory
growth also cooled to multi-month lows. The government could
increase down-payments and loan rates for buyers of second homes
in cities where prices are rising too quickly.
Growth concerns prompted some profit taking on Wall Street
and major indexes dipped, though they were still near historic
or multi-year highs.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty, but it doesn't seem
like the weakness has any follow-through because there's a lot
of people that have underperformed or are underinvested and jump
in on any kind of weakness," said Alan Lancz, president, Alan B.
Lancz & Associates Inc in Toledo, Ohio.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17.23 points or
0.12 percent, to 14,072.43, the S&P 500 lost 0.64 point
or 0.04 percent, to 1,517.56 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 1.61 points or 0.05 percent, to 3,168.13.
MSCI's world equity index fell 0.2 percent.
European shares closed down 0.02 percent at 1,168.36
after a 2.1 percent fall in mining stocks.
A lack of progress in talks to form a new Italian government
after last week's inconclusive elections weighed most on the
country's stocks, down 0.85 percent, while 10-year bond
yields rose to 4.881 percent after hitting more
than 5 percent earlier in the session.
Analysts said yields could have climbed higher but for the
ECB's promise to support struggling nations but there remained
doubts over how this could be implemented without a government
able to enact tough reforms.
Rising expectations that euro zone economic worries could
prompt the ECB to cut interest rates sooner than previously
anticipated weighed on the euro.
The euro zone common currency was down 0.1 percent at around
$1.3006, just above Friday's 11-week low of $1.2966.
"There's growing speculation that the (ECB) will show a
greater willingness to push the benchmark interest rate to a
fresh record low," said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX
in New York.
"The fundamental developments coming out of the euro area
may continue to drag on the exchange rate should it highlight a
weakening outlook for growth and inflation," Song added.
Despite the apparent run from risk on the day, U.S. Treasury
debt prices edged lower as investors weighed recent price gains
against the Italian uncertainty and Chinese growth concerns.
Treasuries could likely stay range-bound for much of the
week as markets await an ECB policy meeting on Thursday and key
U.S. jobs data on Friday.
"The market's a bit expensive to really go 'gung-ho' and buy
at this point even though there's a lot of risk," said Kim
Rupert, managing director of global fixed income analysis at
Action Economics LLC in San Francisco.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 8/32 in
price to yield 1.8703 percent, after hitting a fresh six-week
low of 1.827.
Concern about China's growth, alongside expectations of even
slower growth in the United States, weighed on crude oil prices.
"Economic sentiment has shifted, and we're also seeing the
first stages of long liquidation in the oil market. Money
managers had increased their exposure (to oil) a lot over a
10-week period," said energy analyst Tim Evans at Citi Futures
in New York.
The International Monetary Fund said U.S. spending cuts that
were triggered last Friday could cost the world's biggest oil
consumer about 0.5 percent of its economic growth, a factor that
could weigh on global oil demand.
Total U.S. oil inventories are up 9 percent from year-ago
levels and domestic oil and liquids production has risen by
around one-fifth due largely to a boom in shale drilling, Evans
added, citing the most recent data from the U.S. Energy
U.S. crude traded below $90 a barrel for the first time this
year, triggering more selling, according to analysts.
Brent was last down 0.6 percent at $109.70 a barrel
while U.S. crude fell 1.3 percent to $89.49.