* Chinese stocks cap gains in global equities
* U.S. crude briefly dips below $90 for first time this year
* Euro near recent lows as talk of rate cut gains strength
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 4 Late-day gains in U.S. stocks
buoyed a gauge of global equities on Monday as an earlier dip
attracted investors, while indicators that oil markets are amply
supplied weighed on crude prices.
A gauge of world shares was kept unchanged by Chinese
indexes after weak manufacturing and services sectors data added
to concern about slower growth in the world's second-largest
China's government could also increase down-payments and
loan rates for buyers of second homes in cities where prices are
rising too quickly.
Growth concerns prompted initial caution on Wall Street but
investors took advantage of an earlier decline to jump in, even
as indexes hover near historic or multi-year highs.
"The stock market still represents opportunity for
investors, especially when you look at the domestic market, but
it wouldn't be surprising if we pulled back on the concerns over
China and Europe," said Eric Teal, chief investment officer at
First Citizens Bancshares in Raleigh, North Carolina, which
manages $5 billion.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 32.04 points or
0.23 percent to 14,121.7, the S&P 500 gained 5.42 points
or 0.36 percent to 1,523.62 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 8.66 points or 0.27 percent to 3,178.4.
MSCI's world equity index edged up 0.1
percent. European shares closed down 0.02 percent at
1,168.36 even as mining stocks posted a 2.1 percent
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.
The euro hovered near recent lows against the U.S. dollar,
pressured by political uncertainty in Italy and expectations the
ECB will cut interest rates sooner than previously anticipated.
The euro zone common currency was up less than 0.1 percent
at around $1.302, not far from Friday's 11-week low of
"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.
U.S. Treasury debt prices dipped further as stocks gained.
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 10/32 in
price to yield 1.8772 percent, after the yield hit 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 briefly traded below $90 a barrel for the first
time this year and settled at $90.12, down 0.6 percent. Brent
settled down 0.3 percent at $110.09 a barrel.