April 5, 2012 / 10:29 PM / 6 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro dips, bonds rise on euro zone worries

* World, U.S. stocks dip, but bonds gain
    * Shanghai shares up on China bank policy
    * Euro falls to 3-week low vs dollar
    * Spanish 10-year yields up 12 bp to 5.86 percent

    By Caroline Valetkevitch	
    NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) - The euro hit a three-week low
against the dollar and bonds edged higher on Thursday as Spain's
debt burden fueled worries of further problems for euro zone
economies and curbed appetite for riskier assets.	
    Global stocks dipped, while energy and gold prices climbed.	
    A poor Spanish bond auction on Wednesday added to worries
the impact of the European Central Bank's one trillion euro
injection of cheap three-year funds into the banking system may
be coming to an abrupt halt.	
    Spanish 10-year government bond yields rose as
high as 5.86 percent on Thursday, dragging Italian rates in
their wake as investors fled to the relative safety of German
and U.S. debt. 	
    The moves follow two days of losses in stocks and other
markets after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting
released Tuesday dented hopes of further economic stimulus.	
     "The euro zone firewall set up is not big enough to save
Spain," said Dan Dorrow, director of research at Faros Trading
in Stamford, Connecticut."If the ECB were the Fed right now they
would be embarking on quantitative easing or lowering rates, but
the ECB is more passive in its approach, which is dangerous, and
I think they are walking a tightrope." 	
    The worries added a safety bid for bonds, with the benchmark
10-year U.S. Treasury note up 12/32, the yield at 2.1805
percent. 	
     The euro was last down 0.6 percent at $1.3064
against the dollar, having hit a three-week low of $1.3033. It
also hit its lowest in four weeks against the yen at
106.86 yen before recovering to trade at 107.58 yen, still down
0.7 percent.  	
    Spain's cost of borrowing on markets over 10 years jumped 30
basis points on Wednesday after borrowing costs rose at its bond
auction. The yield premium over German benchmarks is now 411
basis points, its highest since late November before the ECB
flooded the market with three-year funds.	
    	
    STOCKS DIP, COMMODITIES GAIN	
   The MSCI world equity index was last down 0.1
percent. U.S. stocks ended nearly flat but the S&P 500
registered its worst week this year.	
    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 14.61
points, or 0.11 percent, at 13,060.14. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 0.88 points, or 0.06 percent, at 1,398.08.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 12.41 points, or 0.40
percent, at 3,080.50. 	
    Offsetting the concerns over Spain for U.S. stocks was data
showing the number of Americans lining up for new jobless
benefits fell to the lowest in nearly four years last week.	
    Analysts said the claims data and a report on private-sector
jobs earlier this week may bode well for the U.S. government's
widely watched monthly employment report, which is due Friday.
The U.S. stock market will be closed for an extended Easter
weekend.	
    The U.S. outlook was in sharp contrast with Europe where
separate reports showed German industrial output fell more than
expected in February and British factory output suffered its
biggest monthly fall in almost a year 	
 	
    Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.1
percent, but banking stocks, many of which have large exposure
to the region's lower-rated sovereign debt, edged lower.	
    UniCredit and Commerzbank, which both
have exposure to euro zone peripheral debt, were also hard hit,
down 3.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. 	
 	
	
    GOLD, ENERGY CLIMB	
    Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,628.31 an ounce.	
    Investors covered short positions after a sharp two-day
pullback, and a crude oil rally also buoyed the precious metal
that sank early this week on disappointment further U.S.
monetary easing looked less likely.	
    Market watchers said some hedge funds might have reduced
gold holdings due to stronger U.S. economic data and easing of
fears about European debt.  	
     "A lot of the gold trade by hedge funds was specifically
tied to a new round of Fed stimulus," said Jeffrey Sica, chief
investment officer of SICA Wealth Management with more than $1
billion in assets. 	
    In the oil market, Brent May crude rose $1.09, or
0.89 percent, to settle at $123.43 a barrel, while U.S. May
crude  rose $1.84, or 1.81 percent, to settle at $103.31.

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