* U.S. fiscal talks the big driver of global markets
* U.S. stocks pare gains
* Euro surrenders gains vs dollar
NEW YORK, Nov 29 U.S. stocks pared gains while
the euro fell on Thursday on a surge of risk aversion after top
Republican lawmaker John Boehner said there had been no
substantive progress in the last two weeks in talks to reach a
budget deal that would avoid the "fiscal cliff."
Boehner, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives,
said he had no idea what compromises the White House is willing
to make on spending cuts, following a meeting with U.S. Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner. He said Geithner gave no new
substantive plan for finding a deal on the budget.
Boehner's comments rattled investors who had earlier driven
world stocks to a three-week high alongside a rally in the euro
and commodities on hopes that U.S. political leaders would reach
a deal to avert a $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes
that are seen as a threat to the U.S. economy.
"One minute the portents for a deal on the fiscal cliff are
negative, the next minute they are positive. This is likely to
be the pattern all the way up to the deadline on Jan. 1," said
Mike Mason, a senior trader at Sucden Financial Private Clients
"Equities are sure to remain volatile and trading subdued
until there is any concrete outcome to these negotiations,"
The fiscal cliff is the biggest risk facing global markets
in the final weeks of the year, following an agreement earlier
this week on fresh aid for Greece.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.15 points,
or 0.02 percent, at 12,987.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.65 points, or 0.19 percent, at 1,412.58. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.75 points, or 0.39
percent, at 3,003.53.
The MSCI global equities index was up 0.71
percent at 331.73 points, after earlier touching its highest
level since Nov. 7.
The euro was down 0.09 percent at $1.2956 from a
previous session close of $1.2972.