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Equities rise after stimulus signals; dollar dips

By Michael Connor

Reuters

3:18 PM EST, November 24, 2014

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World equities markets climbed on Monday, boosted by deal activity in Europe and ongoing expectations for more stimulus from the world's major central banks.

The dollar weakened against the euro and other currencies as oil prices eased. Gold slipped below $1,200 an ounce.

Equities rose after Reuters reported the People's Bank of China is ready to further ease monetary policy to head off slowing inflation, following a Friday interest rate cut.

"The carry-over effect from China, taken with the fact that the U.S. is pretty healthy, and you have a market with a bias to trend higher," said Mike Gibbs, co-head of the equity advisory group at Raymond James in Memphis.

The MSCI world equity index rose 0.15 percent to 425.93.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is also trying to clear the way for full-scale government bond buying, but he is opposed by Germany's Bundesbank.

Wall Street, which has had five straight winning weeks, touched another record on Monday, with the S&P 500 up 3.79 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,067.29. The Nasdaq Composite added 32.46 points, or 0.69 percent, to 4,745.43, while the Dow industrials eased 0.08 percent to 17,795.58.

Deals in the packaging sector in Switzerland, automotive parts in Korea, insurance in the United States, mobile phones in Nigeria and biopharmaceuticals in the Netherlands boosted European equities.

The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.6 percent to 3,211.70 points, taking its gain since the close on Thursday to 3.5 percent, the biggest two-day rise since June.

The euro added to gains against the dollar after data showed growth in the U.S. services sector fell short of forecasts. Earlier a report indicated German business sentiment rebounded in November after six straight declines.

The euro, which traded near $1.40 in May, was last up 0.40 percent at $1.2438, while the dollar index was off 0.20 percent after nearly touching a four-and-a-half-year high.

Oil traded in a tight range, but Brent stayed near $80 a barrel ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday that so far has been marked by uncertainty over whether the group would agree to a meaningful cut in output to support prices.

Brent crude was last down 44 cents at $79.92 a barrel. U.S. crude was last down 58 cents at $75.93. Prices have tumbled 30 percent since June to their lowest in more than four years.

Spot gold fell $4.14 to $1,197.20 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Daniel Bases and Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Steve Orlofsky)