* European shares hold at 21-month highs
* European shares close near 2-year highs
* Wall Street mixed after Trump fires FBI director
* Greek yields lowest since 2012 debt restructuring
(Updates to European markets' close, adds data)
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK, May 10 Oil prices rebounded on
Wednesday after the largest one-week drop in U.S. crude
inventories this year, helping fuel a modest rise on Wall
Street, while European stocks closed near their highest in
nearly two years.
European full-year earnings forecasts, set to be their best
since 2010, and centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in France's
presidential election over the weekend have steadied European
bourses so far this week.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.19
percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
gained 0.11 percent.
Oil prices rose after Iraq and Algeria joined Saudi Arabia
in supporting an extension to OPEC supply cuts and U.S.
inventories fell more than expected.
U.S. crude rose 3.99 percent to $47.71 per barrel
and Brent was last at $50.55, up 3.73 percent on the
In the United States, disappointing results from Dow
component Walt Disney dragged the index of 30
securities, and President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director
James Comey gave equities some pause in early trading, but
stocks inched higher.
Trump said he fired Comey, who had been leading an
investigation into the Trump 2016 campaign's possible collusion
with Russia, over his handling of the email scandal.
"The market has been unusually stable for a long period;
we’ve had a long stretch of not many big moves up or down," said
Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments LLC in
"The market has been able to absorb a lot of geopolitical
news, but one of these days we’ll have a big geopolitical event
and we’ll have a big reaction to that."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32.2 points, or
0.15 percent, to 20,943.58, the S&P 500 gained 1.79
points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,398.71 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 7.95 points, or 0.13 percent, to 6,128.54.
Traders said Comey's firing could lead to serious
complications for the administration, but without a "smoking
gun" that showed Comey's firing was motivated by something other
than the director's handling of a probe into then-Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, there was likely to be
limited market reaction.
"What’s the biggest concern is how much of a distraction
does it have from the White House’s and the Congress’ goals,"
said Jeffrey Carbone, senior partner, Cornerstone Financial
Partners, in Huntersville, North Carolina.
"How much does this distract from tax reform, repeal of (the
Affordable Care Act), repatriation of assets, infrastructure
Measures of market volatility are at rock-bottom. The U.S.
VIX index was just a hair above its lowest level since
2006 touched on Tuesday.
The dollar was flat against a basket of major currencies
after slipping on the view that political uncertainty
could derail Trump's tax reform plans.
The yen, often sought in times of market uncertainty,
reversed its earlier gains against the greenback. The dollar was
0.25 percent higher against the Japanese currency, touching an
eight-week high. The dollar also reversed earlier losses against
the safe-haven Swiss franc, which had risen to a nearly
A weak 10-year note auction sunk demand for U.S. government
debt as the prices on benchmark 10-year notes erased
earlier gains to trade flat. Yields had touched a five-week high
Gold fell 0.13 percent to $1,219 an ounce.
Greek 10-year yields on Wednesday fell to their
lowest since its debt was restructured in 2012. Greek stocks
rose for a twelfth straight session, the longest streak since
1991, as Athens looked set to clinch vital bailout loans.
(Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Additional reporting by Nigel
Stephenson in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski)