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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks slide, dollar gains ahead of Fed minutes
August 21, 2013 / 2:25 PM / 4 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks slide, dollar gains ahead of Fed minutes

* Markets brace for release of Fed minutes

* Dollar recovers from 6-month low vs euro

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Global equity markets slid for a fifth day on Wednesday and the dollar strengthened ahead of the release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting that are expected to hint, at the least, of a pullback of economic stimulus from September.

Wall Street opened mostly lower, following slight declines in European shares, while U.S. Treasury prices and German bonds fell amid caution ahead of the release of the Fed’s minutes at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

The dollar edged higher from a six-month low against the euro and gained versus the yen as traders bet the minutes will reinforce expectations of a pullback in the Fed’s bond-buying program aimed at spurring growth by keeping interest rates low.

Investors will search for any insight into how and when the Fed will begin to cut back on its bond buying, said Wilmer Stith, co-manager of the Wilmington Broad Market Bond Fund in Baltimore.

“Even if we don’t really get anything out of the minutes that sheds new light on the question, at the end of the day people are getting set up for a tapering event in September,” Stith said.

The euro was down 0.27 percent at $1.3380. The dollar index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, rose 0.32 percent to 81.166.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 19.43 points, or 0.13 percent, at 14,983.56. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 1.78 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,650.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.39 points, or 0.07 percent, at 3,615.98.

MSCI’s all-country stock index was down 0.5 percent at 368.41, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.12 percent to 1,213.29 points.

Brent crude oil fell below $110 a barrel on reports some Libyan oil exports might soon resume and on news the Seaway crude oil pipeline had shut, halting shipments from the U.S. Midwest to the Gulf Coast.

Brent futures for October were down 25 cents at $109.90 a barrel. U.S. October oil was 23 cents lower at $104.88 a barrel.

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