* Wall Street edges lower after six-day S&P rally
* U.S. bond yields dip on weak U.S. data
* Brent oil slips to $109 as U.S. oil inventories hit record
(Adds opening of U.S. markets, byline; dateline previously
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 23 Global equity markets edged
lower on Wednesday after five days of gains after disappointing
U.S. housing data and as corporate earnings were not strong
enough to sustain a rally, while the price of government debt
rose as investors favored safety.
In Europe, rising worries over Ukraine also weighed,
offsetting data that showed Germany continued to power the euro
zone's recovery, though France's economy was still lagging in
Europe's private sector started the second quarter on its
strongest footing in nearly three years, according to purchasing
managers' index for the euro zone, although new orders were
again mainly buoyed by price cuts.
But the pace of U.S. growth slowed in April, even as factory
activity continued to expand, and sales of new U.S.
single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight
months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market
Strong results from Boeing failed to inspire Wall
Street investors to keep pushing equities higher. The S&P 500 on
Tuesday had marked a sixth straight session of gains.
"As (U.S.) equities underperform, this leads to buying of
Treasuries and yields fall. The dollar is softer as a result
because it is reflecting other markets rather than internal
components," said Sebastian Galy, senior currency strategist at
Societe Generale in New York.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was
last up 10/32 in price to yield 2.6896 percent.
MSCI's all-country world stock index, a
measure of global stock portfolios, fell 0.13 percent. In
Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional
shares, was down 0.45 percent at 1,340.52.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5.86 points or
0.04 percent, to 16,508.51. The S&P 500 lost 1.12 points,
or 0.06 percent, to 1,878.43, and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 17.061 points, or 0.41 percent, to 4,144.397.
Corporate earnings were mixed, though companies have largely
been beating reduced forecasts.
Shares in Ericsson, the Swedish mobile telecom
equipment maker, fell 7.1 percent, trimming the most points off
of the FTSEurofirst 300, after the company's first-quarter sales
and profit came in below analysts' forecasts. The results were
hit by weak trading in North America.
Boeing Co reported first-quarter revenue that beat
expectations and lifted its core earnings forecast to reflect a
tax settlement gain, sending shares up 1.94 percent to $130.02.
But fellow Dow component AT&T Inc fell 3.1 percent to
$35.17 a day after its results.
U.S. Treasuries prices rose after the weak economic data
spurred safe-haven bids and traders covered short positions
against bonds following a recent sell-off.
"You cannot continue to attribute this weakness in the
economy to the weather and that's why people were a little
surprised," said Stanley Sun, interest rate strategist at Nomura
Securities International in New York.
The dollar slipped against the euro and yen
. Its value against a basket of currencies fell
to its lowest level in a week.
The euro rose 0.16 percent to $1.3825.
Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.22 percent to
Brent oil fell after weekly data showed U.S. crude
inventories hit a record high, though prices found some support
from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. U.S. crude oil stocks
jumped 3.5 million barrels to 397.6 million barrels last week,
the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
Brent crude for June delivery reversed slight gains
after the EIA data to trade 29 cents lower at $109.04 a barrel.
U.S. crude for June delivery fell 9 cents to $101.666
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Marc Jones
in London; Editing by Leslie Adler)