MARKETS GLOBAL-Shares, oil prices rebound on U.S. budget talk

Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:50pm GMT

* Push by Republicans for 3-month debt limit increase buoys
markets
    * MSCI world share index rises to highest since May 2011
    * China growth data initially boosts global recovery outlook
    * Japan's yen drops vs dollar, U.S. government debt higher


    By Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - World equity and oil prices
rebounded on Friday after U.S. House Republican leaders said
they would seek to break a budget impasse next week, while the
yen was lower against the U.S. dollar ahead of potential asset
purchases by the Bank of Japan.
    Brent and U.S. crude futures rose in choppy trading on news
that the House of Representatives will consider a bill to raise
the U.S. debt ceiling enough to allow the country to pay its
bills for another three months. 
    Stocks on Wall Street also pared losses on news of the new
Republican strategy, though the Nasdaq remained under water.
    Earlier, stocks had faltered on a survey that showed U.S.
consumer sentiment at its lowest in over a year in January and a
disappointing earnings outlook from chipmaker Intel.
    "After feeling some pressure from the weak consumer
sentiment data, crude popped back a bit on the possibility of
movement on the debt ceiling," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at
Price Futures Group in Chicago. 
    The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary
reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at
71.3, down from 72.9 the month before. The index was at its
lowest since December 2011. 
    Omer Esiner, a chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign
Exchange in Washington said the consumer confidence numbers
would be closely scrutinized, given the still-uncertain impact
of higher payroll taxes on the consumer.
    "This is a big miss and could mark the beginning of a
downward trend in sentiment and in spending," Esiner said.
    Shares of Intel Corp slumped 6.9 percent to $21.11
a day after it forecast quarterly revenue below analysts'
estimates and announced plans for increased capital spending
amid slow demand for personal computers. 
    The Dow Jones industrial average was up 34.06 points,
or 0.25 percent, at 13,630.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
 was up 3.05 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,483.99. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.17 points, or 0.13
percent, at 3,131.83.
    Americans' anxiety about the economy undercut optimism from
upbeat U.S. housing data earlier this week, reviving some
safe-haven bids for government debt.
    The U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked
up 10/32 in price to yield 1.8469 percent.
    Disappointing U.K. economic data helped pushed European
shares downward. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
shares closed 0.16 percent lower at 1,163.64.
    China reported that its economy grew at a slightly
faster-than-expected 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012,
a clear sign it has avoided a sharp economic slowdown, though
the annual growth rate was its weakest in 13 years.
    The China data came on top of strong U.S. labor and housing
market reports on Thursday, providing fresh impetus to a broad
rally in equities, precious metals and commodities since the
start of the year. 
    MSCI's index of leading world shares hit its
highest level since May 2011 at 351.70, but later gave back some
gains to trade up at 351.67.
    Spot gold retreated $2.26 to $1,685.00 an ounce.
    Oil supply disruption fears were reinforced by the Islamic
militant attack and hostage-taking at a gas plant in Algeria, a
member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
    Lack of progress from another round of talks between the
United Nations' nuclear agency and Iran about Tehran's nuclear
program also pushed prices higher.
    Brent crude rose 79 cents to settle at $111.89
barrel, while U.S. oil settled 7 cents higher $95.56 a
barrel. 
    Sources familiar with the BOJ's thinking told Reuters the
central bank, under relentless pressure from Japan's Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, will consider making an open-ended
commitment to buy assets until 2 percent inflation is in sight.
 
    "This is a big deal," said Jens Nordvig, global head of
currency strategy at Nomura Securities in New York.
    "But as always from a trading perspective, it matters
greatly what is already priced," he added.
    The euro last traded 0.23 percent lower against the yen
 at 119.96 yen, down from 120.70 earlier - its highest
since May 2011.
    The euro was also down against the dollar, falling 0.43
percent on the day to $1.3317.