Off The Wire
GLOBAL MARKETS-World shares hit record as strong China data lifts copper
(Updates with open of U.S. markets, changes dateline from London)
* Wall St holds steady as investors await big earnings
* Copper hits 4-1/2 month high after China data
* Dollar touches 10-month low against currency basket
* U.S. yields flat to slightly higher in thin trading
By Lewis Krauskopf
NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - A gauge of world stocks hit a record high on Monday while copper prices surged to their highest levels in more than four months after robust growth data in China.
China's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent clip in the second quarter, setting the country on course to comfortably meet its 2017 growth target. Commodity prices were also buoyed as the dollar fell to a 10-month low before steadying.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a two-year high, as MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.13 percent and set a record.
Wall Street opened slightly higher as investors braced for a flood of second-quarter earnings reports later in the week.
"The market from a big picture perspective is just waiting on earnings," said Walter Todd, chief investment officer at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina. "Can companies continue to follow through with what was a very good earnings season in Q1? I think that's what investors are looking for."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.93 points, or 0.05 percent, to 21,648.67, the S&P 500 gained 2.38 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,461.65 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.61 points, or 0.06 percent, to 6,316.08.
Shares of BlackRock fell 3.1 pct after the quarterly report from the world's biggest asset manager fell short of Wall Street's forecasts. Analysts expect that earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 8.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.37 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.03 percent. Shares of miners Anglo American and Glencore gained, supported by the strong China data and rising copper prices. Copper rose 1.52 percent to $6,016.00 a tonne, touching its highest level since early March. Among other commodities, U.S. crude fell 0.09 percent to $46.50 per barrel and Brent was last at $48.90, down 0.02 percent on the day.
Fewer drilling rigs were added in the United States last week, helping ease concerns that surging shale supplies will undermine OPEC-led production cuts. Investors were also digesting U.S. data from Friday pointing to tame inflation and soft domestic demand that diminished prospects of a third interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year. U.S. Treasury yields were little changed to slightly higher, trading in narrow ranges, after a fairly volatile week. "We're still trading off the weak inflation and retail sales data from Friday, although the market is trying to figure what to do next," said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist, at TD Securities in New York.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 3/32 in price to yield 2.3283 percent, from 2.319 percent late on Friday.
The dollar was flat against a basket of currencies after falling to a 10-month low earlier in the session. The euro up 0.04 percent at $1.1472. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Global assets in 2017 Global currencies vs. dollar Global interest rates Emerging markets in 2017 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York and Marc Jones in London; Editing by Andrea Ricci)