World stock gauge hits record on Europe lift; Wall St. slips

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equities hit an intraday record, as a bounce in Spain helped buoy European stocks, while Wall Street edged lower after a technology-led rally last week and a report the U.S. House of Representatives was discussing a gradual tax cut.

Bloomberg reported the schedule would put the tax rate at 20 percent in 2022, and the rate may be reduced by 3 percentage points a year starting in 2018.

“While the rate is important, it is changes to the code, how they are going to talk about repatriating cash, what that is going to mean, what kind of incentives are going to be put in place … those are the more important factors that Wall Street is going to be looking for,” said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at Cuttone & Co in New York.

The Dow and S&P 500 retreated, on the heels of seven straight weeks of gains that left both indexes at record levels. The Nasdaq was slightly below the unchanged mark after scoring its best weekly gain in nearly a year last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 68.74 points, or 0.29 percent, to 23,365.45, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 7.7 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,573.37 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 8.91 points, or 0.13 percent, to 6,692.36.

MSCI’s world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.07 percent after hitting a record of 496.77, its highest level in a week. The index has surged nearly 18 percent for the year, and is on pace to notch its best annual performance since 2013.

Spanish markets supported European shares after an opinion poll, showing waning support for independence, soothed investors’ concerns over Catalan secession. Spanish stocks .IBEX were up 2.44 percent and set for their best day since Oct 5.

Spain’s benchmark 10-year bond yield ES10YT=RR last yielded 1.49 percent, down from 1.502 percent late on Friday.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.16 percent. European stocks have rallied this year on a healthier economy, coupled with convincing growth in corporate earnings and a reduction in political risk.

U.S. Treasury prices gained at the start of a week of policy meetings by three major central banks, a steady stream of economic data and the expected announcement of a new Federal Reserve chair.

The Bank of England is widely expected to raise rates on Thursday, reversing its monetary easing following Britain’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady. The Bank of Japan will also issue a rate decision this week.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 14/32 in price to yield 2.3793 percent, down from 2.428 percent late on Friday.

Trump is likely to pick Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next head of the U.S. central bank, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.35 percent, with the euro EUR= up 0.22 percent to $1.1633. – Reuters