* Equities back further away from highs
* Dollar slips after ECB policymaker comments
* Oil prices off 1 percent
(Adds Wall Street stocks drop, Treasury gains; changes
dateline, previous LONDON)
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, April 7 Wall Street stocks sank on
Monday, joining a broad retreat in global equities markets from
a six-year high touched last week, while U.S. Treasuries' yields
The dollar fell against major currencies as comments from
European Central Bank policymakers curbed expectations for more
stimulus and boosted the euro against the greenback.
The S&P 500 index of large-cap U.S. companies was on track
for a third straight decline as biotech and consumer companies
extended recent losses. On Friday, the Nasdaq and S&P indices
suffered their worst drop since February.
The S&P 500 lost 18.17 points, or 0.97 percent, to
1,846.92, while the Dow Jones industrial average fell
136.92 points, or 0.83 percent, to 16,275.79 and the Nasdaq
Composite dropped 53.512 points, or 1.3 percent, to
Pfizer Inc, down 2.8 percent at $31.26, added
pressure to the Dow and S&P 500. Pfizer's experimental breast
cancer drug nearly doubled the amount of time patients lived
without their disease getting worse in a clinical trial. But
overall survival was not shown to be statistically significant,
The Nasdaq on Friday recorded its biggest decline since
February as investors extended a recent sell-off in high-flying
and high-growth shares, mostly in the tech and biotech sectors,
on fears they are over-valued. The negative sentiment spilled
into Asia on Monday, hitting Japanese tech stocks.
Japan's Nikkei fell 1.7 percent, while the
FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down
1.2 percent at 1,336.11, down from a 5 1/2-year high on Friday.
World equity markets had enjoyed three straight weeks of
gains as easing tensions in the Crimea region of Ukraine
encouraged investors to add risks.
"Markets are overbought over the short term. We have seen a
decent run after the Crimean situation cool down a little bit
and now it's quite natural to see a breather from that level,"
said Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank.
The MSCI world equity index was down 0.81
percent, having hit levels not seen since late 2007 on Friday.
U.S. Treasuries prices rose, extending last week's gains as
traders reduced bets the Federal Reserve might increase interest
rates in the first half of 2015 after a March jobs report that
missed some traders' expectations. The selloff in Wall Street
shares also supported demand for U.S. government debt.
"After this latest payrolls number, people reached the
conclusion they were too ambitious with the Fed's first rate
hike," said Mike Lorizio, head of Treasuries trading at John
Hancock Asset Management in Boston.
Benchmark 10-year Treasuries were up 10/32 in
price to yield 2.6881 percent, while the five-year note US5YT=RR
was 6/32 higher, yielding 1.666 percent.
The dollar was down by 0.27 percent against a basket of six
major currencies. The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.3742
Comments from ECB policymakers Ewald Nowotny and Yves Mersch
on Monday suggested more monetary easing from the central bank
was not imminent, which lifted the euro against the dollar.
Nowotny said there was no need to act immediately to counter
euro zone disinflation, while Mersch said that while the central
bank was drawing up plans for large-scale asset purchases, it
remained some way off
"The disappointment in the jobs data on Friday has soured
sentiment" toward the dollar, said David Gilmore, a partner at
Foreign Exchange Analytics in Essex, Connecticut
Brent crude oil fell below $106 a barrel, snapping a two-day
rise and falling more than 1 percent, after Libyan rebels
occupying four eastern oil ports agreed to end an eight-month
blockade, raising the prospect of increased supply to world
(Reporting by Michael Connor; Additional reporting by Sam
Forgione and Richard Leong; Editing by Dan Grebler)