June 2, 2014 / 3:00 PM / 4 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks hold near record, euro dips on ECB bets

* Expected ECB stimulus later in week keeps euro pressured
    * Wall Street slips after U.S. manufacturing data
    * Copper jumps after Chinese data, oil off on USD strength

 (Updates to U.S. trading, adds comment, U.S. data, changes
byline, dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Rodrigo Campos
    NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) - A global gauge of equities
dipped but continued to brush against its record high on Monday
after strong Chinese factory data, while soft data out of Europe
heightened expectations for action from the European Central
Bank, pressuring the euro.
    Slower-than-expected manufacturing growth in the euro zone
piled pressure on the ECB to act aggressively when it meets on
Thursday, keeping the euro at a near four-month low
versus the U.S. dollar, though weak U.S. data gave the single
currency some respite. 
    The relative strength in the greenback weighed on oil
prices, but copper jumped as China's manufacturing activity
expanded at the fastest pace in five months in May, raising
expectations of an increase in demand.
    U.S. stocks ticked down after growth in the U.S.
manufacturing sector came in at a slightly slower than expected
pace. Concerns remain over the strength of the rally to historic
highs on the S&P 500 and Dow industrials, set last Friday.
    "It is disconcerting that stocks have been doing so well
while they have such low volume and data isn't showing the kind
of growth we want," said Brian Battle, director of trading at
Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago.
    "While there aren't other places for investors to go that
look attractive, stocks seem high at these levels."
    The Dow Jones industrial average fell 11.59 points,
or 0.07 percent, to 16,705.58, the S&P 500 lost 4.25
points or 0.22 percent, to 1,919.32 and the Nasdaq Composite
 dropped 19.77 points or 0.47 percent, to 4,222.85.
    Despite the slip on Wall Street, stable European shares
 and a 2.1 percent jump in Tokyo's Nikkei lifted
MSCI's world index to a fresh intraday high of
6-1/2 years and about 1.5 percent away from a record.
    The euro fell 0.1 percent to hit $1.3614, while
earlier dipping below $1.36, not far from a near four-month low
of $1.3586 touched on Thursday.
    Extra pressure for the ECB to act aggressively came from
German annual inflation data, which showed a slowdown to its
weakest rate in nearly four years in May. 
    "With market participants unwilling to be brave enough to
take against-consensus euro long positions ahead of the
(ECB)meeting, and the potential for an upside surprise in U.S.
data, we expect euro/dollar to remain under pressure," ING
currency strategist Petr Krpata said.
    The greenback was broadly stronger. It rose 0.4 percent to
102.12 yen and a gauge against a basket of currencies
 rose 0.2 percent. 
    The China factory reading lifted base metals on higher
demand prospects. Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange climbed 1 percent to $6,915 a tonne. The metal
gained 3.1 percent in May, its first monthly advance since
    With risk appetite strong, safe-haven gold slid for a fifth
straight session. Spot gold was at $1,246 an ounce, not
far from the four-month low of $1,241.99 hit on Friday. 
Oil also slipped as the stronger dollar weighed. 

 (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Ryan
Vlastelica; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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