GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro, shares dip; focus on EU bailout fund

Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:50am EST
* Euro slips 0.8 pct ahead of euro zone finmin meeting
* Investors anxious for deal on boosting euro safety fund
* Global stocks dip; European rally runs out of steam
By Jessica Mortimer

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The euro slipped on Monday and a
brief European stock market rally ran out of steam as hopes of
swift action from policymakers to boost the euro zone's rescue
fund faded ahead of a meeting of finance ministers.

Concerns about whether officials can agree on ways of
bolstering the European Financial Stability Facility
 weighed on market sentiment, with analysts
saying clearer signs of progress would be needed for the euro to
make significant gains.

"It's becoming increasingly apparent that Germany doesn't
want an increase in the rescue fund and that's weighing on euro
sentiment today because there were positive expectations
building last week," said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at
UBS in Zurich.

The euro was down 0.8 percent on the day against the dollar
EUR= at $1.3264, having rallied some 4 percent last week to
hit a one-month high of $1.3458 on Friday. Against a basket of
currencies, the dollar .DXY was up 0.46 percent at 79.521.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet gave a
fresh thumbs-up for a bigger safety fund on Sunday, a day before
euro zone finance ministers are expected to discuss an increase
in its effective lending capacity.

Some analysts pointed to a Feb. 4 European Council meeting
as a more likely stage for such decisions to be made, though
this week's meeting should give investors a sense of how much
agreement there is among euro zone members to enlarging the
German Bund futures FGBLc1 were 17 ticks lower at 124.74.

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was down 0.3
percent at 336.47, off a 28-month high of 337.68 touched
overnight as last week's rally petered out.

Chinese stocks .SSEC fell around 3 percent after China
raised banks' required reserves for the fourth time in just over
two months on Friday.

European shares .FTEU3 fell 0.1 percent, shedding initial
gains driven by a surge in British engineering firm Smiths Group
(SMIN.L) after it rejected a bid for its medical services unit,
and gains in oil shares. Trading was expected to be muted,
however, with U.S. markets closed for a public holiday.
Source: Reuters.Com