* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, most national markets up
* Political tensions keep bonds, euro trading cautiously
* Euro hits 8-month lows against dollar, bund yields fall
* Crude prices gain despite stronger dollar
(Adds opening of U.S. markets, byline, dateline; previous
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, July 23 Global equity markets edged
higher on Wednesday as a backdrop of solid corporate earnings
buoyed risk appetite, but worries over the Middle East and
Ukraine kept demand strong for safe-haven assets such as bonds.
Shares in Europe and emerging markets, and most of Wall
Street also rose, with the benchmark S&P 500 setting a new
intraday record for a second day as results continued to beat
Of the 149 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
results, 68.5 percent have beat expectations, slightly better
than the past four quarters and five percentage points above the
20-year average of 63 percent, according to Thomson Reuters
"The bottom line is investors have moved away, for now, from
the big political stories and are refocused on earnings, which
in general have been good," said Rick Meckler, president of
hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New
"There's just not a lot of bad news out there when it comes
to corporate earnings," he said.
MSCI's all-country world index rose 0.26
percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.12 percent
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15.29 points,
or 0.09 percent, to 17,098.25. The S&P 500 gained 4.52
points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,988.05 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 18.628 points, or 0.42 percent, to 4,474.644.
The prospect of more sanctions against Russia over the
Ukraine crisis and a downed Malaysian airliner kept risk
aversion on the table in the bond market, where German 10-year
yields nudged down to 1.148 percent, just shy of record lows.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries were up 1/32
in price to yield 2.4601 percent.
The euro was 0.03 percent higher at $1.3468, while
the dollar was 0.05 percent higher against the Japanese yen
Brent crude for September delivery was up 66 cents
at $107.99 a barrel. U.S. crude for September delivery
was 83 cents higher at $103.22 a barrel.
(Additional reporting by Lionel Laurent in London, reporting by
Herbert Lash; Editing by Nick Zieminski)