NEW York Global equity markets fell on Tuesday while safe-haven gold and government bonds were in demand after attacks on the airport and a rush-hour metro train in Brussels triggered security alerts across western Europe.
At least 30 people were killed in attacks on Brussels airport and the train in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.
Travel sector stocks including airlines and hotels were among the hardest-hit, although stocks had managed to recover from sharper losses and bonds and gold eased back from their earlier highs.
On Wall Street, the NYSEArca airline index lost 1.2 percent and was on track for its first decline in five sessions. Cruise ship operators Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corp were among the worst performers on the S&P 500, down more than 3 percent each.
"So far we are holding up pretty well with some emphasis on safe haven," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
"It looks like the market impact will pass pretty quickly, depending on follow-up obviously. If we see additional attacks in coming days, that changes the equation."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 23.35 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,600.52, the S&P 500 lost 0.48 points, or 0.02 percent, to 2,051.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.79 points, or 0.16 percent, to 4,816.66.
The FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading shares was down 0.43 percent at 1,334.02. Belgian stocks were flat after having been down as much as 1.4 percent. MSCI's index of world shares was 0.24 percent lower.
In Europe, the STOXX Europe 600 Travel & Leisure index was down 1.9 percent. Shares in major European airlines like Ryanair and Air France-KLM also fell.
Gold rose 0.75 percent to $1,252.56 an ounce having been up around twice that earlier.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes were last up 7/32 in price to yield 1.8962 percent, down from 1.921 percent on Monday. The yields earlier fell as low as 1.879 percent.
In currency markets the Japanese yen, regarded by investors as a shelter from turbulence, rose across the board, notably against the euro. The euro was last down 0.29 percent at 125.46 yen and the dollar was down 0.2 percent at 111.70 yen.
The single currency euro fell 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.1227. The dollar was up 0.2 percent to 95.493 against a basket of major currencies.
Volume is expected to continue to lessen ahead of the Easter holiday and investors were beginning to think about cashing in on a steep rally in stocks over the last few weeks.
The move toward safe-haven assets dented demand for oil, with U.S. crude futures off 0.1 percent to $41.46 a barrel while Brent rebounded from a low of $40.97 to last trade up 0.29 percent at $41.65.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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Updated Date: Mar 22, 2016 23:15 PM