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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks edge higher, impact from Paris attacks seen limited
November 16, 2015 / 5:03 PM / 2 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks edge higher, impact from Paris attacks seen limited

* European shares reverse initial losses to gain slightly

* Dollar firms vs yen, euro (Adds open of U.S. markets, byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The dollar rose and U.S. and European equity markets gained modestly on Monday as analysts saw limited economic impact worldwide by the attacks in Paris on Friday, though the sale of luxury goods and tourism in the French capital may suffer.

Asian shares hit six-week lows overnight as investors bought assets traditionally considered safe havens, including gold, the yen and low-risk government debt. But European shares reversed early losses and the yen later fell as stocks on Wall Street opened higher.

Gold rose from last week’s six-year low as the attacks in Paris, in which 129 people were killed and hundreds wounded, prompted an initial bout of global risk aversion, though investor worries later faded.

Police raided the homes of suspected Islamist militants across France overnight, arresting 23 people, and investigators identified a Belgian national living in Syria as the possible mastermind behind the Paris attacks.

The euro euro was off 0.58 percent versus the greenback at $1.0715, having pared losses from a near 6-1/2-month low overnight.

“I’d say the market’s taking relatively in stride what happened in Paris. The euro has been hit for sure, but it’s well off the lows,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York.

French shares slightly underperformed - France’s CAC index was down 0.07 percent - weighed by declines in tourism-related stocks. French hotel group Accor dropped 4.7 percent and Air France shed 5.7 percent.

Luxury stocks also slid, though less so. Hermes fell 1.4 percent, LVMH fell 1.6 percent and Kering slid 0.8 percent. Spending by foreign tourists in Paris makes up a large chunk of these companies’ sales.

The STOXX 60 Travel & Leisure index of mostly London-listed shares fell 1.4 percent amid fears the sector could be impacted by loss of consumer confidence.

“Paris is one of the most important cities worldwide in terms of luxury spending and the timing is not good too - a few weeks before Christmas, the most important period for retailers,” said Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche Brune Asset Management.

MSCI’s all-country world index fell 0.1 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.09 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36.34 points, or 0.21 percent, to 17,281.58. The S&P 500 gained 3.72 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,026.76 but the Nasdaq Composite lost 10.94 points, or 0.22 percent, to 4,916.95.

“It looks like there’s not going to be a whole lot of change in terms of policy by either the French or the rest of the world,” said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The market was oversold after the benchmark S&P 500 had declined over the past six of eight sessions, Saut said.

U.S. Treasuries prices rose slightly on concerns over Friday’s attacks in Paris, though the gains were pared as investors still expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.2517 percent.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was up slightly at 99.179.

The dollar rose against the Japanese yen, adding 0.33 percent to 123.03 yen per dollar, amid expectations an interest rate hike is likely in the United States in December.

Front-month Brent crude prices were down $1.20 at $43.27 a barrel. U.S. futures fell 58 cents to $40.16 a barrel. (Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in Hong Kong, Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo, Atul Prakash, John Geddie and Anirban Nag in London and Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier in Paris; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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