Euro gains as rate cut prospects fade, shares dip

Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:29am EST
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By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro hit an 11-month high against the dollar on Monday as fading prospects of an interest rate cut in Europe bolstered demand, while world share markets ticked lower following recent gains.

The common currency was up 0.2 percent at $1.3365, having hit a high of $1.3404 earlier for a hefty 2.5 percent jump since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi dampened expectations of further monetary policy easing in the near term.

Europe's FTSE Eurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of top companies fell 0.4 percent but was still near a two-year high. The MSCI International ACWI price index of global shares .MIWD00000PUS was 0.2 percent lower but remained near an 18-month high.

U.S. shares were slightly lower as investors awaited an onslaught of corporate earnings reports. While some early numbers, notably from Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote), have indicated strength, many investors worry that uncertainty over the recent fiscal impasse in Washington may have pressured companies in the quarter.

"I think there's going to be more misses than hits in terms of revenue and margins. It's going to be a little bit light this earnings season compared to the last one," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 22.16 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,466.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 5.82 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,466.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 20.07 points, or 0.64 percent, at 3,105.56.

The Nasdaq was pressured by Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote), which fell 3.5 percent to $501.71 after a report it had cut orders for LCD screens and other parts for the iPhone 5 this quarter due to weak demand.

GROWTH HOPES   Continued...

A man uses a mobile phone in front of an electronic board displaying market indices from around the world, outside a brokerage in Tokyo October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato