* European stocks flat, Russian stock take another heavy hit
* Brent oil extends gains, on track for weekly rise (Adds opening of U.S. markets, byline, dateline; previous LONDON)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rebounded and European markets recovered a bit on Friday but the euro dipped below $1.35 for first time since February after a Malaysian airliner was downed in eastern Ukraine and Israel stepped up a ground assault in Gaza.
German Bund yields fell to near record lows as investors bought assets perceived as safe havens after Thursday’s crash, a potentially pivotal moment in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
European shares underwent more selling after falling heavily on Thursday, but stocks on Wall Street rose after the S&P 500 suffered its worst decline since April 10.
MSCI’s 45-country all-country world index rose 0.27 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat at 1,362.82 after being down earlier.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.69 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,024.5. The S&P 500 gained 8.19 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,966.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 33.182 points, or 0.76 percent, to 4,396.628.
“It seems counterintuitive given the ruthlessness with which the market sold off yesterday, but in the broader context the markets are generating a lot of attractive themes,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York, citing a growing U.S. economy and corporate earnings.
World leaders demanded an international investigation into the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine. Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for a tragedy that stoked tensions between Russia and the West.
Russian markets took the heaviest hit. Dollar-traded stocks in Moscow were down another 1.75 percent to put their losses for the week at about 8 percent. The rouble recovered almost half a percent on the day but was heading for its biggest weekly loss in more than a year.
Israel announced the start of a Gaza ground campaign on Thursday after 10 days of aerial and naval bombardments failed to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.
Gold dipped as buyers cashed in on some of its 1.5 percent overnight jump. The Japanese yen and U.S. government bonds - the safe haven investors usually head for - both gave up some ground.
The dollar rose 0.21 percent to 101.36, while the euro fell 0.12 percent to $1.3510, after earlier briefly dipping below $1.35.
Brent crude oil climbed to around $108 a barrel, extending sharp gains on heightened geopolitical risk. Brent was up 10 cents at $107.99 a barrel. U.S. crude fell 34 cents to $102.85 a barrel.
Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London, Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Nick Zieminski