* World stocks flat; European shares track Asia up slightly
* Ukraine tension, China growth outlook in focus
* Euro/dollar dips, Bunds steady, gold/yen both edge up
* BoJ keeps steady course on stimulus, market looks for more
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, March 11 Stocks, the euro, oil and gold
all steadied on Tuesday as traders kept a wary eye on Ukraine
and Russia and on the pace of growth in China.
That pattern was set overnight in Asia, where markets took a
break from recent volatile trading but struggled to do much more
than make incremental moves.
World shares rose 0.1 percent, buoyed in
part by Europe, where gains by most major indexes broadly
mirroring moves in Asia ex-Japan and Japan
"Market players remain cautious. There's a lack of
enthusiasm in chasing stocks, and some are just thinking about
moving to the sidelines after the roller-coaster ride we've had
since the start of the year," said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of
research firm 2Bremans.
Standout gainer across European indexes was Portugal's PSI
20, which rose 0.9 percent for a gain close to its
three-year intraday high, as debt yields in the country dropped
to their lowest since April 10.
Strong trade data from Germany, the region's economic
powerhouse, gave some support to stock market sentiment early
on. But that had little effect on safe-haven German debt, with
Bund futures flat at 142.48.
"Recent events, especially concerning Russia and Turkey,
have made the outlook less certain, and their impact will only
be felt in a few months from now," said Markus Huber, a senior
sales trader at Peregrine & Black.
Tensions over Ukraine continued to build on Tuesday. With
diplomacy at a standstill, Ukraine's acting president, announced
the formation of a volunteer national guard.
The euro was marginally lower in early deals, but the
Ukraine tensions helped support the yen after Bank of
Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda said there was no need to adjust
Japanese monetary policy for now.
At 103.20 yen, the dollar was trading at the bottom
of its 103.19-103.43 yen range. The euro was down 0.2 percent at
142.95 yen, off a recent two-month high of 143.79
"Dollar/yen has been in a range between 101-104 yen for much
of this year and the yen needs a fresh trigger for the next leg
of weakness," said Peter Kinsella, currency strategist at
Commerzbank. "That could come from a steady deterioration in
Japan's trade and current account deficits."
Against a basket of currencies, the U.S. dollar was barely
After recent major ructions in metals markets following
February's drop in Chinese exports, prices for industrial
commodities were broadly stable.
Dealers in Asia remained especially nervous about iron ore,
however, following an 8 percent slide on Monday
that fuelled unease about the health of China's giant steel
Brent crude gained 22 cents to $108.30. U.S. oil
was up 25 cents at $101.37 a barrel. Both reversed a
slight weakness during the Asian day.
Gold was a shade firmer at $1,346.20 an ounce, as the
concerns about China and Ukraine kept safe-haven bullion well
bid. The world's biggest bullion-backed
exchange-traded fund saw its largest inflow in a month on
"Gold continues to be largely supported above $1,329, and
while prices are unlikely to break above $1,361.60 in the
absence of war, underlying support from the Ukrainian crisis ...
is likely to keep prices elevated above $1,320 for an extended
time," said Joyce Liu, an analyst at Phillip Futures.