(Updates with afternoon trading)
* Dollar steady after Friday slide as probable Fed hike
* Crude oil little changed in choppy trading
* More M&A: Intel buying Mobileye, Wood Group for Amec
* Mining stocks help underpin European benchmarks
By Lewis Krauskopf
NEW YORK, March 13 Oil prices hovered near
three-month lows while a key gauge of world stocks advanced on
Monday as investors braced for a busy week for global markets,
including a potential U.S. interest rate hike by the Federal
The dollar steadied against a basket of currencies
after touching a two-week low.
Friday's strong U.S. employment report solidified a view
among Wall Street's top banks that the Federal Reserve will
boost interest rates when its policy makers meet this week.
With a rate hike widely expected, market watchers will be
looking for signals about the pace of future increases.
"I think all eyes will be on what the Fed does and, more
importantly, what they say in their comments," said Brant
Houston, managing director at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth
MSCI's all-country world stock index rose
U.S. stocks were little changed ahead of the expected Fed
rate hike later this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39.96 points,
or 0.19 percent, to 20,863.02, the S&P 500 lost 2.55
points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,370.05 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 6.50 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,868.23.
Corporate deal-making continued as chips giant Intel
said it would acquire driverless technology firm
Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Mobileye shares jumped 29
In Europe, Amec Foster Wheeler rallied 11.6 percent
after oil services company Wood Group agreed to buy the
company for $2.7 billion.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.4
percent, helped by increases in mining shares.
Aside from the Fed meeting, which starts on Tuesday, the
world's most powerful finance ministers and central bankers
convene in the German town of Baden Baden starting on Friday,
their first meeting since Donald Trump won the U.S. election.
Oil hovered around three-month lows as rising inventories
and drilling activity in the United States offset optimism over
OPEC's efforts to restrict crude output and reduce a global
U.S. crude fell 0.3 percent to $48.34 a barrel, and
touched its lowest point since Nov 30. Brent crude
slipped 0.1 percent to $51.33 a barrel.
The dollar edged up 0.05 percent against a basket of key
world currencies, recovering after Friday's bout of
profit-taking following the robust U.S. jobs report.
"We remain bullish on the dollar, but as Friday's events
suggested, a lot of good news is already priced into the dollar
at current levels," said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist, at
Scotiabank in Toronto.
Sterling, which has been one of the worst performers against
the dollar over the last two weeks, rose 0.5 percent after the
devolved Scottish government demanded the right to hold a new
referendum on independence.
U.S. Treasury yields edged higher in anticipation of Fed
rate hike on Wednesday, nervousness that the central bank could
indicate a more aggressive pace of future rate hikes, and new
corporate bond supply.
Prices for benchmark 10-year Treasuries slipped
7/32 to yield 2.606 percent, from a yield of 2.582 percent late
Spot gold fell 0.1 percent as the prospect of
imminent interest rate rises kept them near five-week lows
touched last week.
(Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Sam
Forgione in New York, Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru and
Vikram Subhedar in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick