4 Min Read
(Updates with afternoon trading)
* Wall St flat as investors await big earnings
* Copper hits 4-1/2-month high after China data
* Dollar touches 10-month low against currency basket
* Oil eases on signs of steady output from some producers
By Lewis Krauskopf
NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - A gauge of world stocks climbed to a third straight record high on Monday while copper prices surged to their highest levels in more than four months after robust growth data in China.
China's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent clip in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target.
The U.S. dollar fell to a 10-month low against a basket of currencies before steadying.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a two-year high, as MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.08 percent and set a record.
Wall Street was little changed as investors braced for a flood of second-quarter earnings reports later in the week.
"The market from a big-picture perspective is just waiting on earnings," said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina. "Can companies continue to follow through with what was a very good earnings season in Q1? I think that’s what investors are looking for."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.59 points, or 0.01 percent, to 21,639.33, the S&P 500 remained unchanged to 2,459.27 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.54 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,307.93.
Shares of BlackRock fell 3.1 pct after the quarterly report from the world's biggest asset manager fell short of Wall Street's forecasts.
Analysts expect that earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 8.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.37 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.04 percent. Shares of miners Anglo American and Glencore gained, supported by the strong China data and rising copper prices.
Copper rose 1.32 percent to $6,004.50 a tonne, touching its highest level since early March.
"There's a bid across the complex on the Chinese data," said Macquarie analyst Vivienne Lloyd.
Among other commodities, U.S. crude fell 0.88 percent to $46.13 per barrel and Brent was last at $48.58, down 0.67 percent on the day.
Output increases in some top producers eased, but investors continued to await strong indications that an OPEC-led effort to drain a glut was proving effective.
Investors were also digesting U.S. data from Friday pointing to tame inflation and soft domestic demand that diminished prospects of a third interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.3105 percent, from 2.319 percent late on Friday.
"We're still trading off the weak inflation and retail sales data from Friday, although the market is trying to figure what to do next," said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist, at TD Securities in New York.
The dollar fell 0.02 percent against a basket of currencies, dropping to a 10-month low during the session. The euro up 0.1 percent to $1.1478.
Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Sam Forgione in New York and Marc Jones and Pratima Desai in London; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Nick Zieminski