GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar climbs to 4-month highs, stocks dip before Fed

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar climbs to 4-month highs, stocks dip before Fed
Credit: © Reuters.

* Apple results lift tech shares

* Fed likely to keep interest rates steady

* Eyes on Fed's view of economy, inflation outlook

(Updates with early U.S. markets' activity, changes dateline, previous LONDON)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose to four-month highs against a basket of major currencies and world stock indexes mostly edged lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting and possible indications on the interest rate outlook.

Forecast-beating results from the world's biggest company, Apple Inc AAPL.O , lifted tech shares, limiting losses in stocks. that the Fed will signal more policy tightening ahead kept some investors cautious. The Fed is likely to announce at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) that it is holding interest rates steady, but it could encourage expectations of a rate increase in June.

A hawkish-sounding Fed could further boost the dollar, which has roared higher in recent weeks, erasing its year-to-date losses versus a basket of currencies .DXY . The gains came amid signs the Fed will be the only major central bank to raise rates in the coming months.

The Fed may be reluctant to increase market expectations of further tightening until it sees more data, however. Markets are currently pricing in an additional two rate hikes this year.

"I don't think the Fed is going to want markets to price in more tightening at this point," said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar index .DXY rose 0.16 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.18 percent to $1.1971.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 59.28 points, or 0.25 percent, to 24,039.77, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 5.9 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,648.9 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 3.99 points, or 0.06 percent, to 7,134.69.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.60 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.06 percent.

Apple, the world's biggest company by market capitalization, beat profit and revenue expectations in the first quarter, thanks to robust iPhone sales, and it announced a $100 billion share buyback shares rose 4.0 percent. Chipmakers STMicroelectronics STM.MI , Infineon IFXGn.DE , BE Semiconductor BESI.AS and ASML ASML.AS also gained, enjoying the positive mood about the sector.

U.S. Treasury yields hovered near four-year highs. Data earlier showed U.S. private-sector payrolls for April came roughly in line with market forecasts. 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 1/32 in price to yield 2.9719 percent, down from 2.976 percent late on Tuesday.

In the oil market, U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 0.21 percent to $67.11 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $72.55, down 0.79 percent on the day.

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