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Stocks and yields steady with Fed

A gauge of global stock markets edged higher to build on monthly gains and benchmark government bond yields were near multi-year lows

A gauge of global stock markets edged higher on Monday to build on monthly gains and benchmark government bond yields hovered near multi-year lows as investors girded for developments later in the week from central banks in the United States and elsewhere.

The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies after touching its highest point since the start of June.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.05%, as increases for Wall Street’s main indexes led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq countered some weakness in Europe.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to give its policy statement on Wednesday with expectations running high the central bank is poised to cut interest rates this year.

The European Central Bank is also holding a forum in Portugal this week, with the Bank of Japan also set to hold its policy meeting later in the week.

With so much coming later this week as far as central bank announcements, investors are basically in a holding pattern, said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank.

The Fed is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting this week but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year, with concerns about the global economy fuelled by a heightening U.S.-China trade war.

Expectations have been set off a rate cut have been overdone so it will be interesting to see just how dovish the tone is, Gaffney said.

New York State posted a record fall this month to its weakest level in more than 2-1/2 years, suggesting an abrupt contraction in regional activity.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.99 points, or 0.21%, to 26,145.6, the S&P 500 gained 6.95 points, or 0.24%, to 2,893.93 and the Nasdaq Composite added 62.31 points, or 0.8%, to 7,858.97.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.09%. Shares of Lufthansa plunged 12% after the German airline lowered its profit outlook for the full year 2019 citing intense competition from low-cost rivals.

U.S. Treasury yields slipped in choppy trading, weighed down by softer-than-expected U.S. economic data and persistent pressure arising from the trade conflict with China.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 2/32 in price to yield 2.0872%, from 2.094% late on Friday.

The dollar index fell 0.09%, with the euro up 0.16% to $1.1225.

Oil prices declined further after more poor Chinese economic figures fanned fears of slowed worldwide oil demand.

U.S. crude fell 0.5% to $52.25 per barrel and Brent was last at $61.44, down 0.92% on the day.

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