* U.S. stocks rise, U.S Treasury prices rise
* Banks lead European shares higher, Wall St seen lower
* Euro edges up vs dollar before ECB meeting
* Aussie dollar falls, stocks rise, after GDP drop
* Oil dips on doubts over impact of OPEC deal
(Updates after U.S. open, changes byline, previous dateline
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Dec 7 Wall Street's rise was held back
by health stocks on Wednesday while European stocks rose on
reports Italy would step in to rescue troubled bank Monte dei
Paschi and on expectations the European Central Bank would
extend its bond-buying.
Major currencies treaded water with traders waiting on the
ECB's Thursday meeting to find out if the ECB's monthly bond
purchases will be kept steady or scaled back, and whether it
will signal the eventual end of the program.
Prices on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries rose following a
large block purchase of 10-year Treasury note futures after
disappointing overseas data pushed foreign yields lower.
Healthcare stocks were the biggest drag on the S&P 500
after a report that President Elect Donald Trump said he
would bring down pricing. This led the benchmark
S&P to take a breather after three days of advances.
"When we have run up so high, it's common that there is some
sensitivity in the market, maybe due to softer oil prices or
just the technical aspects of being at such high levels," said
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard
Financial in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 15.43 points,
or 0.08 percent, to 19,267.21, the S&P 500 gained 2.28
points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,214.51 and the Nasdaq Composite
had dropped 1.39 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5,331.61.
Oil prices fell as investors questioned whether a deal to
cut output agreed last week by the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others would be enough to drain a
Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 75
cents to $53.19 a barrel. U.S. light crude was down 94
cents at $49.99 a barrel.
ITALIAN BANKS BOOST
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7 percent
while Italy's FTSE MIB share index gained 1.7 percent,
to hit its highest point since May as the country's banking
stocks continued their rally.
Shares in Monte dei Paschi, Italy's oldest bank, rose about
9 percent, and an index of Italian lenders' shares
rose 5 percent after jumping 9 percent in the
previous day's session.
Reuters had reported exclusively on Tuesday that Italy was
preparing to take a 2-billion-euro controlling stake in the bank
as prospects of a private funding rescue faded following Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi's decision to resign after voters rejected
his proposals for constitutional reform.
"Despite the fact that the probability of early elections
has risen, the market is focusing on the banking sector and the
fact the government seems to be showing more urgency in dealing
with that problem," Mizuho strategist Antoine Bouvet said.
The euro edged up 0.3 percent to $1.075. The dollar
index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket
of six of its major peers, was down 0.2 percent.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR were up 12/32 in
price to yield 2.351 percent, down 4.5 basis points from late on
Tuesday. The 10-year yield retreated further from a near 1-1/2
year peak struck on Dec. 1 at 2.492 percent, according to
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.6 percent while Japan's Nikkei
added 0.7 percent. Chinese shares gained 0.5 percent.
(Additional reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru;
Nigel Stephenson in London, Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and John
Geddie, Jemima Kelly, Christopher Johnson in London; Editing by