GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks down slightly while Treasury yields fall

BY Reuters | TREASURY | 11/27/23 12:28 PM EST

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European stocks slightly lower; S&P, Dow fall

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Gold climbs to six-month high in choppy trade

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Eyes on U.S. and EU inflation data later this week

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Oil market tense ahead of delayed OPEC+ meeting

(Updates prices at 12.04 p.m ET/ 1704 GMT)

By Sin?ad Carew and Harry Robertson

NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - MSCI's global equity index was down slightly on Monday and U.S. Treasury yields fell while investors digested U.S. housing data and waited for key inflation readings later in the week.

The

U.S. dollar

slid against most major currencies, weighed down by expectations that the Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates by the first half of next year.

Gold hit a six-month high with a boost from the softer dollar and expectations for a pause in Fed tightening.

Oil prices fell on Monday, with the Brent benchmark hovering around $80 a barrel as investors awaited this week's OPEC+ meeting and expected curbs on supplies into 2024.

Meanwhile the latest data showed that sales of new U.S.

single-family homes

fell more than expected in October, likely as higher mortgage rates reduced affordability, but the housing segment remains supported by a shortage of previously owned properties on the market.

"A lot of investors are starting to look out into next year. There's a growing sense the economy is slowing, that price growth will likely continue to fall, that profit growth will likely fall," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital, in Chicago.

Ablin saw Monday's weak home sales data aligning with concerns about a slowing economy.

And he noted deep discounts in stores on Black Friday, which kick-offs holiday shopping, saying "investors are bracing for lower discretionary spending."

Investors were also looking ahead to Thursday's release of the Fed's preferred measure of inflation and euro zone consumer inflation figures, to potentially give markets direction.

In stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.37 points, or 0.22%, to 35,310.78, the S&P 500 lost 3.36 points, or 0.07%, to 4,555.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.25 points, or 0.17%, to 14,275.10.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.34% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.15% on the day after rising for four straight weeks.

Global stocks have gained ground recently as bond yields dropped, with cooling inflation in developed economies boosting investors' expectations that central banks are finished raising interest rates and might soon be cutting them.

Still, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Monday the European Central Bank's fight to contain price growth was not yet done as wage growth was still strong and the outlook was uncertain, but she did point to easing euro zone inflation pressure.

In

U.S. Treasuries

, benchmark 10-year notes were down 5.7 basis points to 4.427%, from 4.484% late on Friday.

"It's the economic data and central bank policy and whatever information comes out within those two areas, those are going to be the areas that are going to move Treasury yields up or down at this point," said Jim Barnes, director of fixed income at Bryn Mawr Trust in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. dollar index slid against most major currencies on Monday and was on track for its biggest monthly drop in a year.

The dollar index fell 0.058%, with the euro down 0.04% to $1.0935. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.39% versus the greenback at 148.88 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.2609, up 0.02% on the day.

The oil market faces a tense few days ahead of a meeting of OPEC+ on Nov. 30, where member countries will try to agree on supply curbs into 2024. The meeting was originally slated for Sunday but postponed as producers struggled to agree.

U.S. crude fell 0.45% to $75.20 per barrel and Brent was at $80.13, down 0.56% on the day.

Along with the weaker dollar, investor worries about the Israel-Hamas conflict have boosted gold prices.

Spot gold added 0.4% to $2,010.55 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.48% to $2,011.80 an ounce.

(Reporting by Sin?ad Carew in New York, Harry Robertson in London, Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing by Stephen Coates, Ed Osmond, Chizu Nomiyama and Christina Fincher)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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