World stocks steady below two-year high
LONDON: World stocks held steady below a recent twoyear high on Monday while the euro hit a two-week low as concerns over the euro zone debt crisis persisted following last week's Irish rating downgrade.
Tensions in Korea also made investors wary. Despite threats of war by Pyongyang, South Korea launched live-fire drills on a disputed island after an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting failed to agree on how to defuse the crisis.
Last week's five-notch credit rating downgrades of Ireland by moody's and the absence of immediate steps from European leaders to contain the crisis weighed on the single currency while supporting German government bonds.
"The ratings change at the end of last week is still keeping the euro under selling pressure," said Carl Hammer, currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm. "There is an underlying uncertainty with regards to the euro zone which is very much in focus." The MSCI world equity index and the Thomson Reuters global stock index were steady on the day. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose half a percent, boosted by energy shares, while Asian shares fell a third of a percent. -Reuters