Equity markets little changed, euro slips after ECB

Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:56am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World equity markets were little changed on Thursday, with the key U.S. Dow and S&P stock indexes hovering below record highs, while the euro fell, erasing earlier gains spurred by the European Central Bank's decision to refrain from more stimuli.

Oil prices declined after a rise in U.S. gasoline inventories pushed oil stocks to a record high, feeding uneasiness about a persisting global supply glut.

U.S. and European equity markets have been on a tear due to upbeat company earnings and encouraging U.S. economic data, helping them rebound from losses tied to Britain's stunning vote to leave the European Union a month ago.

The resilience of the stock market has prompted investors to pare their safehaven holdings of U.S. Treasuries and other low-risk government bonds.

"Stocks look really cheap to bonds and if earnings are going up, why would you want a bond?" said Nick Kalivas, senior equity strategist at Invesco Powershares in Chicago.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 17.7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,577.33, the S&P 500 .SPX was little changed at 2,173.12 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 5.95 points, or 0.12 percent, to 5,095.89.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was up 0.15 percent, at 1,347.13.

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 45 nations, rose 0.63 points or 0.15 percent, to 413.45. It faded from nine-month highs, cooled by signals from Japan that its next shot of stimulus won't include hand-out 'helicopter money.'   Continued...

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 19, 2016.     REUTERS/Staff/Remote