By Richard Leong
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK World stock prices softened on Tuesday on concerns about the political outlook in Europe and U.S. economic growth, and nervous investors piled into yen and low-risk U.S. and German government bonds.Oil prices declined on worries about global oversupply despite OPEC's pact last week to extend its crude output cut until the first quarter of 2018.Gold XAU rose to a one-month high of $1,270 an ounce on safe-haven demand before it ran out of steam."There have been some softness in U.S. economic data, and there are some less market-friendly policies in the U.S. on the margin," said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist with Russell Investments in New York.The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 0.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 463.84.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 34.01 points, or 0.16 percent, to 21,046.27, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 2.89 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,412.93 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 2.76 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,207.44.
Recent U.S. economic reports have supported a growing view that the world's biggest economy is not recovering from an anemic first quarter as vigorously as some traders had thought.Data released on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence fell in May and a gauge of core U.S. inflation retreated on a year-over-year basis.The lack of progress on tax cuts and other stimulus measures from Washington has also weighed on the outlook for company profits and broader economic activity, analysts said.
However, most Federal Reserve policymakers have not backed away from their expectations of two more rate increases by the end of 2017 as they see the U.S. economy near full employment and are confident inflation would reach its 2-percent goal.In Europe, elections in Italy may now come as early as September, after the 5-Star Movement became the fourth big party to back a switch to a proportional electoral system.Greece's debt problems also continued to simmer after it failed to reach a deal on its next installment of its bailout program earlier this month.
Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 dropped 0.20 percent at 1,533.88.With jitters about the United States and Europe, the yen strengthened against the dollar and euro. It was up 0.2 percent at 111.00 yen per dollar JPY=, and up 0.1 percent at 124.09 yen per euro EURJPY=.Safety bids lowered 10-year U.S. Treasury yield US10YT=RR to 2.229 percent and pinned 10-year German yield DE10YT=RR at 0.302 percent.In commodities, Brent crude LCOc1 was last down $0.76, or 1.45 percent, at $51.53 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was last down $0.51, or 1.02 percent, at $49.29 per barrel.Spot gold prices XAU= were last down $3.84 or 0.30 percent, to $1,262.76 an ounce. (Reporting by Marc Jones, Patrick Graham in London and Nithin Thomas Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Lough and Nick Zieminski)
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Updated Date: May 30, 2017 21:49 PM