GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks helped by US data, but growth fears remain

* Rise in U.S. consumer confidence supports stocks

* Lingering fears of faltering economic recovery weigh

* Gold at two-month high, yen near 15-year high
(Updates with U.S. markets, changes byline, dateline
previously LONDON)

By Walter Brandimarte

NEW YORK, Aug 31 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) gained modestly
and European shares pared losses on Tuesday after a rise in
U.S. consumer confidence, but persistent fears of a slowing
economy weighed on oil prices and the dollar.

Concerns about the health of the U.S. economy had earlier
pushed investors into safe-haven assets, sending the yen to a
near 15-year peak and gold prices to a two-month peak.

But a report showing that an index of U.S. consumer
confidence rose above expectations in August, combined with a
larger-than-forecast increase in prices of U.S. single-family
homes in June, lifted investor sentiment.

“Consumer confidence is the second positive surprise we’ve
had today. Does that mean we’ve hit the peak of bearishness
yet? If not, we’re probably close,” said Uri Landesman,
president of Platinum Partners in New York.

“I think these two data points, combined, will prevent what
would’ve been a pretty bad day.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) climbed 17 points,
or 0.17 percent, at 10,025, while the Standard & Poor’s 500
Index (.SPX: ) rose 0.68 point, or 0.06 percent, at 1,049. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) slipped 4 points, or 0.22
percent, at 2,115.

The MSCI All-Country World equity index (.MIWD00000PUS: )
trimmed losses but remained 0.23 percent lower. The same
happened to the FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3: ) of top European
shares, which dipped only 0.1 percent after falling as much as
1.3 percent earlier.

The U.S. dollar pared losses against major currencies
following the confidence data.

The dollar was down 0.25 percent against the Japanese
currency (JPY=: ) at 84.39. It had earlier fallen to 84.06,
according to Reuters data, not far from its 15-year low of
83.58 set on electronic trading platform EBS last week.

The euro (EUR=: ) was up 0.45 percent at $1.272.

The dollar was also down 0.24 percent against a basket of
major currencies measured by the U.S. Dollar Index (.DXY: ).

U.S. Treasury prices gave back some of their earlier gains
but remained higher, in a sign that investors are still weary
of the U.S. economic outlook.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note (US10YT=RR: ) was up
7/32 in price, with the yield at 2.5054 percent. The 30-year
bond (US30YT=RR: ) was up 13/32, with the yield at 3.5595
percent.

U.S. crude oil prices (CLc1: ) fell 33 cents, or 0.44
percent, to $74.37 per barrel, while spot gold prices (XAU=: )
rose $8.30, or 0.67 percent, to $1,244.60, its highest since
late June.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak, Chris Reese, and
Wanfeng Zhou; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks helped by US data, but growth fears remain