GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro tumbles but stocks rise in choppy day

* Euro hits all-time low versus Swiss franc, Aussie dollar
* Stocks rebound in choppy session on repositioning
* Oil seesaws, ends higher, on prospect of future rallies
* Bonds slip late in day after Federal Reserve purchase
(Updates with close of U.S. markets, adds Tokyo stock
futures)

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – The euro fell (Read more about the trembling euro. ) broadly on
Monday on fears of fresh credit rating downgrades in Europe
but global stocks edged higher and a bond rally fizzled as
hopes of future rallies in risky assets sparked choppy
trading.

The euro slid beneath $1.31 after Moody’s Investors
Service said it may cut the ratings on some Spanish banks,
driving speculation that France and Belgium may be next in
line after a multinotch downgrade of Ireland’s credit rating
last week. For details see: [ID:nN20208943]

The euro (EUR=: ) hit record lows against the Australian
dollar and the Swiss franc as traders fretted over Europe’s
fiscal problems. The single currency fell below its 200-day
moving average around $1.3102, usually a bearish sign.

“Credit ratings are eroding across much of the common
currency zone as debt continues to increase and economic
growth remains anemic,” said Karl Schamotta, senior market
strategist at Western Union Business Solutions in Victoria,
British Columbia.

The euro slid to a session low of $1.3096, according to
Reuters data, and was last trading at about $1.3122.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) drifted higher, lifted by energy and financial
shares, and European stocks hit a 27-month closing high as
investors rejiggered their portfolios in anticipation of the
new year. [ID:nN20207473] The Morgan Stanley All Country World
Index (.MIWD00000PUS: ) edged up 0.08 percent to 324.52.

“We have seen this year-end rally refuse to give up any
ground,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T
Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Improving economic data, additional economic stimulus from
the Federal Reserve and the extension of Bush-era tax cuts
have combined to keep equities in demand, Hellwig said.

The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up 5.6
percent so far in December and up 11.8 percent year to date.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) shed 13.78 points,
or 0.12 percent, to end at 11,478.13. But the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) gained 3.17 points, or 0.25 percent,
to finish at 1,247.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: )
added 6.59 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 2,649.56.

Stocks in Tokyo were poised to open slightly higher, with
the March futures contract that trades in Chicago for the
Nikkei 225 (0#NK:: ) up 10 points at 10,310.

HOT COMMODITIES

Commodity prices, including oil, rose broadly despite the
stronger dollar, suggesting rising book-squaring activity
before the year’s end and likely buying by investors who see
sharper rallies in coming months. [ID:nN20191984]

Copper, wheat and crude oil all rose 1 percent or more,
even as volumes across energy, metals and agricultural markets
were about 40 percent lower than past 30-day average.

Oil investors shrugged off the stronger dollar and ongoing
concerns about euro zone debt woes. A rally in gasoline
futures ahead of expected holiday demand and cold weather
supported heating oil futures.

The expiring U.S. January contract (CLF1: ) rose 79 cents to
settle at $88.81 a barrel, while crude oil for February
delivery (CLG1: ) rose 77 cents to settle at $89.37.

ICE Brent crude for February (LCOc1: ) rose $1.07 to $92.74
a barrel.

Helping lift crude oil prices was news of a shut pipeline
in Nigeria amid more militant activity and tensions on the
Korean peninsula also lurked as a supportive factor.

Gold climbed as investors sought a safe haven after the
European Central Bank issued a warning about the region’s
finances and following news of Moody’s potential downgrade of
some Spanish banks.

Spot gold (XAU=: ) rose $9.84 to $1,384.40 an ounce.

Prices of long-dated U.S. Treasury prices slipped, ending
a two-day bounce, erasing earlier gains.

Selling emerged after the Federal Reserve bought
Treasuries in two separate operations, both of them part of
the Fed’s plan to keep interest rates low and spur the
economic recovery.

The benchmark 10-year note (US10YT=RR: ) dipped 1/32 in
price, leaving its yield at 3.34 percent, while the 30-year
bond (US30YT=RR: ) slipped 5/32 in price to yield 4.44 percent.

The euro (EURCHF=EBS: ) fell to 1.2678 Swiss francs on EBS
trading platform, its weakest since the euro’s launch in
1999.

The U.S. Dollar Index (.DXY: ) gained 0.31 percent to
80.624.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar (JPY=: ) was down 0.29
percent at 83.71.
(Reporting by Steven C. Johnson, Wanfeng Zhou, Barani
Krishnan, Ellen Freilich and Robert Gibbons in New York;
Writing by Herbert Lash; Editing by Jan Paschal)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro tumbles but stocks rise in choppy day