June 8, 2012 / 3:48 AM / 6 years ago

Global stocks, euro fall on Spain bank worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global stocks, euro and oil prices tumbled on Friday after hopes for more stimulus from central banks faded and with Spain expected to become the fourth and biggest country to seek assistance since the euro zone’s debt crisis began.

A trader watches screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange June 5, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

Four senior EU officials said finance ministers of the 17-nation single currency area would hold a conference call on Saturday to discuss a Spanish request for an aid package for its ailing banks, although no figure had yet been set.

Stocks had rallied this week on expectations of global coordinated efforts to bolster slackening economic growth, but investors were disappointed after neither the European Central Bank nor the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled near-term action.

“There has been little to soothe uncertainty and central bank action this week failed to remove tail risk,” said Camilla Sutton, senior currency strategist at Scotia Capital in Toronto. “News flow remains relatively negative.”

Rating agency Fitch slashed Spain’s credit rating on Thursday, leaving it just two notches short of junk status. It signaled further downgrades could come as the country tries to restructure its troubled banking system.

MSCI’s world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was down 1.1 percent at 297.81.

Top European shares .FTEU3 were down 0.8 percent.

U.S. stocks fell in early trading. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 46.17 points, or 0.37 percent, at 12,460.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was down 0.14 points, or 0.01 percent, at 1,314.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 13.70 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,831.02.

The euro fell 1 percent to $1.2448, retreating from a two-week high of $1.2625 hit on Thursday.

More losses would leave the euro vulnerable to a test of the 23-month low of $1.2286 hit on June 1, using Reuters data, after failing to break above chart resistance at $1.2623, the January low.

Adding to the bearish sentiment were data showing Italian industrial production fell far more than expected in April and German imports tumbled at their fastest rate in two years.

Brent crude for July dropped $1.68 to $98.25 a barrel, after hitting a low of $97.19.

U.S. crude prices fell $1,88 to $82.92 a barrel, having touched a low of $82.00. Both contracts are down for a second day.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 4/32, with the yield at 1.6473 percent.

Additional reporting by Richard Hubbard and David Stamp in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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