* Crude prices climb back above $111 a barrel
* U.S. stocks open little changed
* European shares sag in choppy month-end trade
* Yen and euro rise vs dollar
NEW YORK, Nov 26 World share markets edged lower
and the dollar slipped on Tuesday as oil prices climbed amid
doubts over the real impact of the Iran nuclear deal and renewed
political tensions in the East China Sea.
U.S. stocks opened little changed as investors looked to
economic data to see whether a recent equity rally has been
Wall Street investors have been enjoying a string of record
highs after some weak economic data bolstered expectations the
Federal Reserve will hold off scaling back its stimulus. But
they are reluctant to make further bets if the Fed is likely to
reduce its support for the economy - and markets.
Permits for future U.S. home construction rose to the
highest level in nearly 5-1/2 years in October, suggesting the
housing market recovery remained intact despite recent signs of
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan
areas showed U.S. single-family home prices rose in September
and posted their strongest annualized gain in 7-1/2 years, a
closely watched survey showed on Tuesday..
"It is a market that is on data watch as the Fed is clearly
on data watch," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist with
Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial, which has $1
billion in assets under management. "Permits were very, very
good and it will translate into more jobs."
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21.51 points,
or 0.13 percent, at 16,094.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 1.21 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,803.69. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.98 points, or 0.17
percent, at 4,001.56. .
After some mixed performances in Asia, the pan-European
FTSEurofirst 300 share index struggled through the
morning and was down 0.4 percent as the approaching month-end
added to a general mood of caution.
With the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. on Thursday,
investor appetite for fresh bold moves has been lacking.
Having reversed Monday's $3 drop, Brent oil was
holding above $111 a barrel with investors continuing to
question how quickly Iranian oil could come back on stream.
"The interim six-month 'freeze' agreement on Iran's nuclear
program should not have any impact on oil prices, aside from
short-term sentiment, because core sanctions on oil and banking
have not been touched," Societe Generale said in a note.
"If and when (a comprehensive agreement) happens, it could
take Iran three to nine months to recover the 1 million barrels
per day in production lost since 2011."
An escalation of political tensions in parts of Asia was
also in focus and helped keep gold near a one-week high,
though a softer dollar left it vulnerable.
The White House has called China's demands that airlines
inform Beijing when flying over disputed islands in the East
China Sea, "unnecessarily inflammatory."
Thailand was also in the spotlight as anti-government
protesters stepped up their bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck
Shinawatra, amid talk that the central bank had intervened in
the currency market, with the baht bouncing from an
The China tensions kept the dollar under pressure
after disappointing housing data pushed it - and U.S. government
bond yields-- lower on Monday.
The dollar index which measures the greenback against
six major currencies, was down 0.2 percent at 80.794, well off
last week's high of 81.29.
The euro climbed 0.1 percent against the U.S.
currency, while the dollar fell 0.2 percent against the yen
and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note
was up 9/32, the yield at 2.7085 percent.
"The dollar's own issues about whether Fed tapering will
take place or not make the euro the next best alternative," said
Daragh Maher, currency strategist at HSBC in London. "But the
euro is looking rather toppish here."
The dollar extended losses against the euro and yen after
data showed the U.S. consumer confidence index fell in November.
The recent view of the Fed was that the central bank will
wait a while longer before attempting to scale back its huge
stimulus program, which has long been fueling the rally in
It had squeezed down the yields on U.S. Treasuries
overnight, and euro zone government bonds followed
suit as investors kept a close eye on the ECB for any signs it
is contemplating more easing.
Tokyo's Nikkei benchmark, as usual, bore the
negative effects of the stronger yen as it shed 100 points,
though it remained well within reach of a 5-1/2 year peak
reached in May.