January 24, 2019 / 9:25 PM / 2 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks meander, bonds rise on ECB, U.S.-China trade talk

    * S&P 500, Nasdaq close higher, Dow ends lower
    * U.S. govt. shutdown, global growth worries keep investors
wary
    * Euro weakens against dollar after ECB commentary
    * U.S. oil futures rise, U.S. Treasury yields hit one-week
low

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
to close of U.S. stock market)
    By Sinéad Carew
    NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Stocks closed higher on
Thursday after a choppy trading day, while U.S. Treasuries were
in demand after the European Central Bank chief said economic
growth was likely to be weaker than expected and with the United
States was far from a China trade deal.
    Demand increased for safe-haven assets with U.S. Treasury
10-year yields hitting a one-week low, due to anxiety about
slowing global growth and trade. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur
Ross told CNBC Washington was "miles and miles" from resolving
trade issues with China.                                
    The euro touched its lowest point against the dollar in six
weeks after ECB President Mario Draghi left interest rates
unchanged, saying near-term data is likely to be hit by fallout
from factors including China's slowdown and Brexit.             
            
    On top of the U.S.-China trade war and its global effects
investors also worried about the economic impact of the longest
U.S. government shutdown in history, now in its 34th day.
    "A lack of meaningful progress on the government shutdown
and trade talks with China and global growth concerns off the
ECB President's talk this morning are suggestive of the muted
market we're seeing today," said Ryan Larson, head of U.S.
equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago.
    With so much uncertainty, Larson said a market pause seems
appropriate since the S&P 500 has recouped roughly half the
ground it lost in a late 2018 sell-off.      
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average        fell 22.38 points,
or 0.09 percent, to 24,553.24, the S&P 500        gained 3.63
points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,642.33 and the Nasdaq Composite
        added 47.70 points, or 0.68 percent, to 7,073.46.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index          rose 0.22 percent
and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe                
gained 0.18 percent.
    Earlier data showed last week's applications for U.S.
unemployment benefits falling to a more than 49-year low though
claims for several states including California were estimated.
            
    While the data was encouraging, Tony Roth, chief investment
officer at Wilmington Trust in Delaware said it was only a
matter of time before a continued shutdown would do "irreparable
damage" to the economy. The shutdown and U.S.-China trade war
are adding pressure to global economies, he said.
    Two bills to end the partial U.S. government shutdown - one
backed by Republicans and one by Democrats - failed to win
enough votes in the Senate as lawmakers eyed other potential
compromises to end the impasse with the White House.            
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average        fell 22.38 points,
or 0.09 percent, to 24,553.24, the S&P 500        gained 3.63
points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,642.33 and the Nasdaq Composite
        added 47.70 points, or 0.68 percent, to 7,073.46.
    Nasdaq was supported by strength in chipmaker and airline
stocks after earnings reports.              
    MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe                
gained 0.18 percent on the day.
    The euro        was 0.7 percent lower against the dollar at
$1.13, after falling as low as $1.129, its weakest since Dec.
14. 
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus the
euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies,        was up
0.43 percent at 96.538.
    Benchmark 10-year notes             last rose 12/32 in price
to yield 2.7139 percent, from 2.755 percent late on Wednesday.
    U.S. oil prices rose by 1 percent, boosted by the U.S.
threat of sanctions on Venezuela, but gains were capped by U.S.
data showing record high gasoline inventories and an unexpected
big build in crude stocks.             
    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose
51 cents to settle at $53.13 a barrel, a 0.97 percent gain.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 5 cents to settle at $61.09 a
barrel.      

    
 (Additional reporting by Richard Leong, Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and
Stephanie Kelly in New York, Marc Jones and Abhinav Ramnarayan
in London; editing by G Crosse, Chizu Nomiyama and David
Gregorio)
  
 
 
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