* Dollar rallies to 6 1/2 month high over Europe concerns
* Wall St slides as European fiscal worries offset data
* Oil falls below $73 a barrel on weak demand outlook
* Bonds gain after stocks turn lower; commodities slip (Updates with close of U.S. markets)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The dollar rose to a 6-1/2-month high against the euro on Friday and U.S. stocks fell as concerns about the fiscal health of several euro zone countries raised an aversion to risk among investors.
News that the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in more than six years in the fourth quarter also lifted the dollar, boosting views the United States was recovering faster than other developed countries. For details see: [ID:nN28246399]
Data showing the U.S. economy grew at a 5.7 percent annual rate raised expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could hike interest rates before the European Central Bank.
Investors also remained concerned about the fiscal health of Greece, Spain and Portugal, helping push the euro below $1.39 for the first time since early July. [ID:nN29141917]
Many markets ended lower in January, which often proves to be a harbinger for the rest of the year. A slide in many markets last January belied that historical indicator after stocks and other assets rallied strongly for much of the year.
MSCI’s all-country index of global stocks .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.8 percent on Friday, and about 4.4 percent in January.
U.S. stocks pulled back from early gains even as Greek and European Union officials said there was no chance of a Greek default or EU bailout. [ID:nLDE60S0XN]
“Sovereign debt issues continue to weigh on the market,” said Robert Francello, head of equity trading for Apex Capital in San Francisco.
“The pattern has been to sell into the weekend, wait for sovereign risk and sovereign default news in Europe and if it doesn’t happen, the relief rally begins.”
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed down 53.13 points, or 0.52 percent, at 10,067.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX fell 10.66 points, or 0.98 percent, at 1,073.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC slid 31.65 points, or 1.45 percent, at 2,147.35.
Commodity markets, especially copper and oil, ended January with their worst losses in more than a year as the surging dollar and weak demand outlook caused prices to stumble after a strong run in 2009. [ID:nN2942102]
The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index .CRB, a commodities bellwether that tracks prices across 19 futures markets, ended the month down about 6 percent — its worst loss since November 2008, when it fell almost 10 percent.
Oil prices fell below $73 a barrel, marking a more than 8 percent loss for the month, as lagging energy demand outweighed stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data. [ID:nSGE60S05N]
U.S. oil for March delivery CLc1 fell 75 cents to settle at $72.89 a barrel, down $6.47 versus the end-December close.
In London, ICE Brent crude for March LCOc1 fell 67 cents to settle at $71.46 a barrel.
Copper suffered its worst monthly losses since December 2008. [ID:nLDE60S10J]
Gold also fell, marking a third straight week of declines, as the resurgent dollar and uncertainty over a U.S. proposal to limit risk taking by some banks damped sentiment. [ID:nLDE60S0YG]
U.S. April futures GCJ0 settled down $1 at $1,083.80 an ounce in New York.
U.S. Treasuries rose on month-end position-squaring, nervousness about the fiscal situation of some European nations and expectations the U.S. economy would grow at a slower pace than the torrid rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. [ID:nN29568343]
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR rose 12/32 in price to yield 3.59 percent.
Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan as measured by MSCI .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.62 percent to a two-month low, while Japan's Nikkei average .N225 fell 2 percent to a six-week closing low. (Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu, Wanfeng Zhou, Richard Leong and Robert Gibbons in New York; Brian Gorman and Ian Chua in London; writing by Herbert Lash; Editing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft)