NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed but other major world equity markets were little changed on Thursday ahead of a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next week, and oil resumed its slide due to persistent worries about weak demand and a supply glut.
Oil prices fell to near seven-year lows and overall markets were more subdued as investors looked ahead to the Fed’s Dec. 15-16 policy meeting.
U.S. crude fell as worries over a global glut persisted and prices were seen as vulnerable to further weakness in the run-up to year-end.
Brent crude LCOc1 was last down 1.5 percent at $39.52 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 settled down 1.1 percent at $36.76.
“People are focused on two things right now: they’re looking at commodity prices, they’re looking at interest rates, and they’re tying to figure out how that is going to impact growth heading into next year,” said Bryan Novak, portfolio manager at Astor Investment Management in Chicago.
MSCI’s all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was last down 0.1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 0.47 percent to 17,574.75, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.23 percent, to 2,052.23 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 0.44 percent to 5,045.17.
European shares steadied after touching a two-month low, with retailers and technology firms under pressure as commodity shares stabilized. Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 fell 0.2 percent to 1,428.08.
The dollar rose as markets refocused on the expected U.S. rate increase, moving up from one-month lows against the euro EUR= and yen JPY=. The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was last up 0.6 percent at 97.915.
“You are seeing people become more convinced that the Fed is going to move on autopilot,” said Karl Schamotta, director of FX strategy and structured products at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Toronto.
U.S. long-dated Treasury debt yields edged lower in thin trading, weighed down by tumbling oil prices, which suggested inflation would remain benign.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR were last down 4/32 in price to yield 2.238 percent. U.S. 30-year yields US30YT=RR were up 1/32 in price to yield 2.97 percent.
Spot gold prices XAU= fell $1.51 to $1,071.30 an ounce.
Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Dion Rabouin in New York and Clara Denina in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and James Dalgleish