March 14, 2019 / 3:41 PM / 2 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-European shares rise on 'no-deal' Brexit vote, dollar gains

(Adds U.S. market open, byline, changes dateline; previous LONDON)

* European stocks hit highest since Oct. 5

* Wall Street trades flat on report of Xi-Trump summit delay

* Pound eases after best 1-day percentage gain since April 2017

* Oil hits 4-month highs on supply, renewed OPEC call for cuts

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) - A gauge of global equity markets traded little changed on Thursday as fading risks of a disorderly Brexit lifted European shares but bolstered the dollar ahead of another vote, while Wall Street was flat on uncertainty over U.S.-Sino trade talks.

The dollar gained for the first time in a week as the pound stalled at lower levels ahead of a vote later on Thursday to extend Britain’s March 29 deadline for exiting the European Union.

The British Parliament was due to vote on seeking a last-minute Brexit delay, while Prime Minister Theresa May pressed reluctant lawmakers to back her divorce deal with the EU a third time after defeats in January and on Tuesday.

Sterling fell 0.61 percent to $1.3255 after gaining almost 2 percent late on Wednesday on a vote to defeat a “no-deal” Brexit.

European shares rose to a five-month high as sentiment improved from cautious to upbeat after the open. But a Bloomberg report of a likely delay in U.S.-Chinese trade talks, coupled with fresh data showing weak U.S. home sales, hurt U.S. stocks.

Data showing China’s industrial output grew 5.3 percent in January and February, the slowest pace of expansion in 17 years, is also a concern and an important focus, said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco.

While fiscal and monetary stimulus will improve China’s economy down the road, fear of U.S.-Chinese trade wars and economic slowdown are driving market sentiment for the moment.

“I expect stocks to be relatively volatile today,” Hooper said. “In general, what we have is a picture that doesn’t look particularly positive.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.06 percent while the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.58 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.84 points, or 0.05 percent, to 25,690.05. The S&P 500 lost 2.36 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,808.56 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.86 points, or 0.08 percent, to 7,637.54.

The dollar index, a gauge of its strength against six other major trading currencies, rose 0.21 percent at 96.752 after brushing a nine-day trough overnight of 96.385.

The euro slid 0.21 percent to $1.1301 and the Japanese yen weakened 0.38 percent versus the greenback at 111.61 per dollar.

U.S. Treasury yields were little changed to slightly higher on concerns about the report of the delay in a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“When you look at Trump and Xi, it’s clear that both parties want to make a trade deal here,” said Brian Giuliano, vice president, portfolio management, at Brandywine Global Investment Management in Philadelphia.

“But market sentiment has shifted on trade.”

Oil prices were mixed, lifted by solid demand and output cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, though gains were capped by an ongoing surge in U.S. supply while analysts warned of risks to the global economy.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 31 cents to $58.57 per barrel, but Brent crude futures slid 12 cents to $67.43 per barrel.

Reporting by Herbert Lash; additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Dan Grebler

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