* Dollar index slips, euro regains $1.04
* Wall Street edges down, Dow still hanging below 20,000
* Gains in Asia support global equity gauge
* Oil falls on surprise build in U.S. inventories
(Updates to afternoon U.S. trading, adds quotes, data)
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK, Dec 21 Stocks edged down and the
dollar eased from 14-year highs on Wednesday, giving back some
of the gains chalked up since Donald Trump's U.S. election
victory as investors took profits on the rally in risk assets
over the past six weeks.
Wall Street was modestly lower with the Dow Jones industrial
average remaining just below the 20,000 threshold.
"The 20,000 mark is just a number, but it's also a nice
chance to step back and plan for the coming year," said Ryan
Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte,
U.S. stocks have surged since the election. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average has jumped 9 percent and the S&P 500
has gained 6 percent since Nov. 8 with traders betting
that President-elect Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress
will embark on steep tax cuts and fiscal spending to stimulate
The Dow fell 16.2 points, or 0.08 percent, to 19,958.42, the
S&P 500 lost 2.38 points, or 0.104811 percent, to 2,268.38 and
the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.76 points, or 0.09
percent, to 5,479.19.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
six currencies, fell 0.25 percent, retreating after hitting its
highest level since December 2002 on Tuesday.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, which reached their highest in
more than two years last week after the Federal Reserve raised
interest rates and forecast more hikes in 2017 than most
investors had expected, edged lower to 2.55 percent.
Benchmark 10-year yields have risen almost 80 basis points
since early November.
Some traders likely reduced their dollar holdings on
profit-taking ahead of a big batch of U.S. economic data on
Thursday and the Christmas holiday, analysts said.
"There are no big fundamental underpinnings to the move.
It's more a technical adjustments ahead of the holidays," said
Paresh Upadhyaya, director of currency strategy at Pioneer
Investments in Boston.
The euro, which touched a 14-year low on Tuesday, rose 0.4
percent to $1.0424 while the yen gained 0.25
percent to 117.55 per dollar.
The Swedish crown rose 1.4 percent, its biggest
one-day gain in six months, to a two-month high of 9.6350 after
the Riksbank only narrowly voted to add to its bond-buying
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.21 percent,
having hit an 11-month high on Tuesday, led lower by banking
Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which must raise 5
billion euros by the end of the month to avoid state
intervention, was once again in focus. Its shares
dropped as much as 17 percent.
Chinese stocks rebounded as fears of a liquidity squeeze in
the banking system subsided after risks from a bond scandal
appeared contained, and on a pledge to deepen reforms in
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.91 percent, to
3,339.54 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index
gained 1.15 percent to 3,138.54 points, both snapping a
two-session losing streak.
Tokyo's Nikkei share average fell, pulling back from
earlier one-year highs to close down 0.3 percent.
The gains in some Asian bourses counterbalanced losses in
the U.S. and Europe to leave MSCI's measure of global equity
markets flat on the day.
Oil prices fell after the U.S. Energy Information
Administration reported an unexpected crude inventory build and
Libya's National Oil Corporation said it planned to boost oil
production by 270,000 barrels per day.
Brent crude fell 1.6 percent to $54.46 a barrel
while U.S. WTI crude dropped 1.5 percent to $52.49.
(Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Additional reporting by Karen
Brettell in New York and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by
Meredith Mazzilli and Lisa Shumaker)