* Wall Street, European stocks trade flattish
* Oil prices decline as fears of Iraqi violence retreat
* Yen at 5-week high versus wobbly dollar
(Adds opening of U.S. markets, changes dateline; previous
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, June 30 Global stock markets were on
track for their fourth straight quarter of gains on Monday,
aided by loose monetary policies from major central banks, while
concerns about geopolitical developments and global economic
health have underpinned government debt.
Stocks on Wall Street traded little changed to slightly
higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes set to
close a sixth straight quarter of gains - a streak not seen
since the euphoria over technology shares ended in 2000.
MSCI's all-country index, which tracks
shares in 45 countries, rose 0.25 percent. It has gained more
than 4 percent this quarter, aided by the prospect that monetary
policy in the major economies will remain accommodative for
longer. The index was set to post a fourth straight quarter of
In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
regional shares rose 0.08 percent to close at a provisional
1,372.36, its fourth quarter in a row of gains.
Major stock indexes are up for the first half of the year
and the S&P 500 has posted more than 20 record highs at the
close so far, even as the U.S. Federal Reserve trims its
"The Fed and other global monetary forces have done their
best to keep this market as liquid as possible, and that
liquidity is restricting investors from finding a place other
than stocks and have enabled risk takers to stay confident,"
said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView
Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Bond yields, expected to have risen after a run-up late last
year, have broadly fallen. Barclays' Aggregate U.S. bond index
is up 3.82 percent in the first half as benchmark yields have
fallen nearly half a percentage point.
The 10-year Treasury note rose 2/32 in price to
yield 2.525 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.12 points, or
0.01 percent, at 16,853.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.01 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,962.97. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 10.25 points, or 0.23
percent, at 4,408.18.
A sense of complacency in markets drew the attention of the
Bank for International Settlements - a forum of the world's top
central banks - which warned on Sunday that markets were
increasingly out of sync with shaky global growth prospects.
Several early warning signs indicated building
vulnerabilities in the financial systems of several countries,
Gold was steady near a two-month high, poised to set a
second-straight quarterly gain after political tensions
bolstered demand for the metal.
Spot gold was up $1.86 an ounce at $1,316.90 an
ounce, having hit a two-month high of $1,325.90 last week.
The dollar remained under pressure, awaiting this week's
busy calendar of U.S. data, which includes the June non-farm
payrolls report on Thursday, a day earlier than usual due to the
U.S. Independence Day holiday on July 4.
The dollar fell versus the yen to a six-week low of 101.21
yen, and was last at 101.29, down 0.07 percent.
The euro, meanwhile, rose to a three-week high of $1.3667
and last changed hands at $1.3688, up 0.3 percent.
Brent crude oil dropped below $113 a barrel as fears of a
disruption to oil output from Iraq receded after government
forces launched a pushback against a Sunni militant insurgency.
Brent was down 82 cents at $112.48 a barrel. U.S.
crude lost 41 cents to $105.33 a barrel.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash ;Additional reporting by Anirban Nag
in London; Editing by Dan Grebler)