(Corrects index in second paragraph)
* Global shares steady after setting high
* Focus on next week's ECB policy meeting
* The euro steady against the dollar
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, May 30 Global shares steadied on Friday
after hitting record highs as investors positioned cautiously on
the last trading day of the month, with the market's focus on
next week's European Central Bank policy meeting.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks
stocks from developed economies, was down 0.04 percent after
scaling a new lifetime high earlier in the session as investors
positioned to shield themselves from any disappointment from the
ECB, which is widely expected to ease policy significantly on
"The market will hold at current levels until the ECB
meeting next week. Should the ECB disappoint the market, then I
expect a negative reaction and equities will run into a
consolidation that could hold in the summer months," Christian
Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich, said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1
percent, with BNP Paribas leading the index lower
after a report saying the U.S. Justice Department was pushing
the French bank to pay more than $10 billion to resolve a
criminal probe. BNP shares fell 4.9 percent.
Germany's DAX slightly outpaced the broader market after
figures showed on Friday that German year-on-year retail sales
grew at their strongest rate in April since June 2012 as Easter
fell later this year than last.
In the European bond market, benchmark Bunds were slightly
lower, tracking Treasuries. Ten-year U.S. debt
yielded 2.477 percent, up from the U.S. close of 2.447 percent
but still close to its lowest levels since last June, touched
this week as markets increased bets that the Federal Reserve
will not begin raising interest rates any time soon.
The euro was steady at $1.3605, not far from
Thursday's three-month low of $1.3586. The dollar index, which
tracks the currency against a basket of six major rivals, eased
slightly to 80.462.
(editing by John Stonestreet)