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World stocks dip as U.S. bank shares fall; oil extends recent gains

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Rodrigo Campos

(Reuters) - A gauge of stocks across the world eased on Friday but was on track to end the week with its strongest performance in five, while extended recent gains that drove them to highs not seen since late 2014.

Banks stocks led Wall Street lower, with down 3.6 percent after its earnings missed estimates. An index of fell 2.8 percent.

Tax cuts are expected to help corporate post its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years. Earnings at companies are estimated to grow by 18.4 percent from a year earlier.

"Even with great earnings, maybe the expectations were so high that they are not propelling the market further," said Jim Awad, at in "Good earnings are already priced into the market."

The <.DJI> fell 207.06 points, or 0.85 percent, to 24,275.99, the <.SPX> lost 15.74 points, or 0.59 percent, to 2,648.25 and the <.IXIC> dropped 55.25 points, or 0.77 percent, to 7,085.00.

The pan-European index <.FTEU3> rose 0.10 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.31 percent.

In emerging markets, stocks lost 0.70 percent.

Overnight, MSCI's broadest index of shares outside <.MIAPJ0000PUS> closed 0.24 percent lower, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.55 percent.

Global investors seemed to focus on the lack of a clear sign that any U.S.-led attack on was imminent, but the prospect of Western military action in that could lead to confrontation with hung over the

rose on support from lingering concerns about geopolitical risk and reports of dwindling global

"The geopolitical jitters just keep getting priced in here more and more, as we get closer to the moment of the strikes, if there are any," said John Kilduff, at hedge fund Management. He noted that poses a large risk to global stability because of its relationship with powerful

"Syria is a client state of both and and the risk for escalation is quite high and I think that is what the market is worried about."

U.S. crude rose 32 cents to settle at $67.39 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 56 cents to $72.58.

Trade tensions also were not far from the surface, with analysts at noting prolonged uncertainty will likely hurt open Asian economies such as Taiwan, and

The stepped into the currency market and bought another HK$3.038 billion ($387.01 million) in Hong Kong dollars on Friday as the local currency hit the weaker end of its trading range.

The U.S. dollar hit a seven-week high against the Japanese yen. The yen tends to benefit from geopolitical uncertainty and risk aversion. [FRX/]

The dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.01 percent, with the euro up 0.1 percent to $1.2337.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 percent versus the greenback at 107.31 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.4238, up 0.09 percent on the day.

Aluminium hit a six-year high on Friday and posted its biggest weekly gain since the current contract was launched after the imposed sanctions on Russia's <0486.HK>, the world's second-biggest [MET/L]

aluminium hit its highest since March 2012 at $2,340 a tonne before retreating to close at $2,285, down 1.7 percent.

Spot gold added 0.8 percent to $1,345.90 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.54 percent to $1,349.10 an ounce.

Copper rose 0.13 percent to $6,829.85 a tonne.

In sovereign debt markets, the yield curve hovered at its lowest level in more than decade as short-dated yields have risen more than longer-dated ones this week on expectations of further interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

Graphic: U.S. yield curve flattest in a decade

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.823 percent, from 2.834 percent late on Thursday.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Caroline Valetkevitch, Richard Leong, and in New York, Jan Harvey in London and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 01:03 IST