Global stock rally stumbles on data, results; dollar slips
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar fell and global equity markets edged lower on Wednesday in response to disappointing U.S. housing data and weak corporate earnings that reversed market momentum after five days of gains in a global stock index.
In Europe, rising worries over Ukraine also weighed, offsetting data that showed Germany continued to power the euro zone's recovery.
But the pace of U.S. growth slowed in April, even as factory activity continued to expand, and sales of new U.S. single-family homes tumbled to their lowest level in eight months in March, dealing a setback to the housing market recovery.
Strong results from Boeing failed to inspire Wall Street investors to keep pushing equities higher. The S&P 500 on Tuesday had marked a sixth straight session of gains.
MSCI's measure of global equity performance faltered after five straight days of gains. The all-country world stock index fell 0.2 percent. In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares closed down 0.57 percent at 1,338.84.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 9.31 points, or 0.06 percent, at 16,505.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 3.24 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,876.31. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 30.09 points, or 0.72 percent, at 4,131.37.
"As (U.S.) equities underperform, this leads to buying of Treasuries and yields fall. The dollar is softer as a result because it is reflecting other markets rather than internal components," said Sebastian Galy, senior currency strategist at Societe Generale in New York.
Corporate earnings were mixed, though companies have largely been beating reduced forecasts.
Shares in Ericsson, the Swedish mobile telecom equipment maker, fell 6.1 percent, trimming the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300, after the company's first-quarter sales and profit came in below analysts' forecasts. The results were hit by weak trading in North America.
Boeing Co reported first-quarter revenue that beat expectations and lifted its core earnings forecast to reflect a tax settlement gain, sending its shares up 1.93 percent to $130.01.
But fellow Dow component AT&T Inc fell 3.1 percent to $35.13 a day after reporting results.
U.S. Treasuries prices rose after the weak economic data spurred safe-haven bids and traders covered short positions against bonds following a recent sell-off.
"You cannot continue to attribute this weakness in the economy to the weather and that's why people were a little surprised," said Stanley Sun, interest rate strategist at Nomura Securities International in New York.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was last up 11/32 in price to yield 2.6842 percent.
The dollar slipped against the euro and yen. Its value against a basket of currencies fell to its lowest level in a week.
The euro rose 0.09 percent to $1.3816.
Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.22 percent to 102.37 yen.
Brent oil fell after weekly data showed U.S. crude inventories hit a record high, though prices found some support from the continuing crisis in Ukraine. U.S. crude oil stocks jumped 3.5 million barrels to 397.6 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
Brent crude for June delivery reversed slight gains after the EIA data to settle down 16 cents at $109.11 a barrel.
U.S. crude for June delivery settled down 31 cents at $101.44 a barrel.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London; Editing by Leslie Adler, Cynthia Osterman and Dan Grebler)