* Wall Street falters after global index rises five days
* Dollar down on weak U.S. markets
* U.S. bond prices rise on weak U.S. economic data
* Brent oil slips to $109 as U.S. oil inventories hit record
(Adds close of U.S. markets)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 23 The dollar fell and global
equity markets edged lower on Wednesday in response to
disappointing U.S. housing data and weak corporate earnings that
snapped market momentum after five days of gains across a
worldwide stock index.
In Europe, rising worries over Ukraine also weighed,
offsetting data that showed Germany continued to power the euro
Europe's private sector started the second quarter on its
strongest footing in nearly three years, according to a
purchasing managers' index for the euro zone, although new
orders were mainly buoyed by price cuts.
But the pace of U.S. growth slowed in April, even as factory
activity continued to expand, and sales of new U.S.
single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight
months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market
Strong results from Boeing failed to inspire Wall
Street investors to keep pushing equities higher. The S&P 500 on
Tuesday had marked a sixth straight session of gains.
MSCI's measure of global equity performance, the
all-country world stock index, faltered after
five straight days of gains, falling 0.21 percent. In Europe,
the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares
closed down 0.57 percent at 1,338.84.
The downturn ended the S&P 500's six-day streak. The Dow
Jones industrial average closed down 12.72 points, or
0.08 percent, to 16,501.65. The S&P 500 lost 4.16 points,
or 0.22 percent, to 1,875.39 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 34.491 points, or 0.83 percent, to 4,126.967.
Corporate earnings were mixed, though companies have largely
been beating reduced forecasts.
"It's easy to take less inspiring numbers and say this
market is overvalued or pass them by," said Rick Meckler,
president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey
City, New Jersey. "So it really is more about investors' own
view of how high a multiple they are willing to pay," he said.
Shares in Ericsson, the Swedish mobile telecom
equipment maker, fell 6.1 percent, trimming the most points off
the FTSEurofirst 300, after the company's first-quarter sales
and profit came in below analysts' forecasts. The results were
hit by weak trading in North America.
Boeing Co posted first-quarter revenue that beat
expectations and lifted its core earnings forecast to reflect a
tax settlement gain, sending its shares up 2.4 percent to
But fellow Dow component AT&T Inc fell 3.8 percent to
$34.92 a day after reporting results.
U.S. Treasuries prices rose after the weak economic data
spurred safe-haven bids and traders covered short positions
against bonds following a recent sell-off.
"You cannot continue to attribute this weakness in the
economy to the weather and that's why people were a little
surprised," said Stanley Sun, interest rate strategist at Nomura
Securities International in New York.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose
10/32 in price to yield 2.6896 percent.
The dollar slipped against the euro and yen
. Its value against a basket of currencies fell
to its lowest level in a week.
The euro rose 0.09 percent to $1.3816. Against the
yen, the dollar fell 0.11 percent to 102.49 yen.
Brent oil fell after weekly data showed U.S. crude
inventories hit a record high, though prices found some support
from the continuing crisis in Ukraine. U.S. crude oil stocks
jumped 3.5 million barrels to 397.6 million barrels last week,
the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
Brent crude for June delivery reversed slight gains
after the EIA data to settle down 16 cents at $109.11 a barrel.
U.S. crude for June delivery settled down 31 cents at
$101.44 a barrel.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Marc Jones
in London; Editing by Leslie Adler, Cynthia Osterman, Dan
Grebler and Diane Craft)