* S&P and Nasdaq post 6th straight quarter of gains
* MSCI's global index, European shares post quarterly gains
* Oil prices decline as fears of Iraqi violence retreat
* Yen at five-week high versus dollar
(Adds close of U.S. markets)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, June 30 Global stock markets posted a
fourth straight quarter of gains on Monday, aided by the loose
monetary policies of major central banks that have helped drive
risk appetite, while concerns about the world's economic health
have underpinned government debt.
Stocks on Wall Street closed mixed, but the S&P 500 and
Nasdaq Composite indexes closed a sixth straight quarter of
gains - a streak not seen since the euphoria over technology
shares came to a halt in 2000.
MSCI's all-country index, which tracks
shares in 45 countries, rose 0.18 percent. It gained more than 4
percent in the second quarter, aided by the prospect that
monetary policy in the major economies will remain accommodative
for longer, and it posted a fourth straight quarter of gains.
In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
regional shares also posted a fourth straight quarter of gains,
though for the day it finished down 0.05 percent to end the
quarter at 1,370.60.
Major stock indexes have rallied this year, and the S&P 500
has posted more than 20 record closing highs, even as the U.S.
Federal Reserve trims its economic stimulus.
"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, which had been expected to rise 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 of the year as
benchmark yields have fallen nearly half a percentage point.
The 10-year Treasury note rose 1/32 in price to
yield 2.5268 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.24 points,
or 0.15 percent, to close at 16,826.6. The S&P 500 lost
0.73 point, or 0.04 percent, to 1,960.23 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 10.248 points, or 0.23 percent, to
For the quarter, the Dow rose 2.2 percent, the S&P 500 was
up 4.7 percent and the Nasdaq gained 5.0 percent. All three
indexes also rose for the month of June.
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 indicators signal vulnerabilities have
been building in the financial systems of several countries, it
Gold was steady near a two-month high, poised to set a
second straight quarterly gain after political tensions
U.S. COMEX gold futures for August delivery settled
up $2 at $1,322 an ounce.
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 Friday.
The dollar fell versus the yen to a six-week low of 101.21
yen, and was last at 101.32, down 0.04 percent.
The euro rose to an almost six-week high of $1.3697
and last changed hands at $1.3694, up 0.34 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 94 cents to settle at $112.36 a
barrel. U.S. crude lost 37 cents to settle at $105.37 a
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Anirban Nag
in London; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)