GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street up on earnings optimism; oil off

* Dow, S&P higher; Alcoa to report after market’s close

* Rate expectations send Bund yield above 3.5 percent

* Dollar up vs euro after U.S. government shutdown avoided
(Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Wanfeng Zhou

NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on
Monday on optimism over upcoming corporate earnings, while
crude oil prices retreated after a recent run-up as investors
eyed efforts to broker an end to Libya’s civil war.

Aluminum maker Alcoa (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will mark the unofficial start
of the quarterly earnings season when it reports results after
the market’s close on Monday. Profits for S&P 500 companies are
seen rising 11.4 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson
Reuters data. See [ID:nN07256466]

The dollar rebounded against the euro after steep losses on
Friday, as the U.S. government averted a potential shutdown,
although the focus on the debt ceiling debate could limit the
greenback’s gains.

“The major companies reporting this week will give us a
nice slice of what to expect this season, and if we get
follow-through in the results, this could be the catalyst that
finally gets more people back in the market,” said Mike Shea,
managing partner and trader at Direct Access Partners LLC in
New York.

Alcoa, a Dow component, rose 0.7 percent to $18.05. The
company is seen posting growth in both earnings and revenue.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 54.57
points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,434.90. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 3.12 points, or 0.23 percent, at
1,331.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was off 0.32
points, or 0.01 percent, at 2780.08.

World stocks as measured by MSCI (.MIWD00000PUS: Quote, Profile, Research) were flat,
with emerging markets (.MSCIEF: Quote, Profile, Research) off 0.4 percent. European
stocks fell, with the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top
European shares down 0.1 percent.

Although the world economy is fairly robust, investors
increasingly expect higher commodity prices to drive up
inflation, prompting central banks to tighten monetary policy
sooner.

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it did not
believe that rising commodity prices will derail the global
economic recovery, but warned inflation will remain elevated
for a while.

Brent crude oil earlier fell by more than $1 to below $125
before retracing some of its losses and moving above $126 a
barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped under $112, giving back some
ground after Friday’s strong rally.

The African Union said Muammar Gaddafi had accepted a road
map to end the civil war, but forces loyal to him shelled the
town of Misrata. A broker said oil also fell on profit-taking.
For details, see [ID:nL3E7FB0Z5]

Analysts were skeptical about the peace deal.

“We have seen such peace plans before,” said Carsten
Fritsch of Commerzbank. “Unless Gaddafi steps down I think
there is little room for discussion from the rebel side.”

And even if an end to the civil war is in sight, it will be
some time before Libyan exports return to pre-conflict levels.

“Some of Libya’s oil fields, which have recently come under
attack, have suffered severe damage, which is likely to have a
long-lasting negative impact on the country’s production
profile,” said Amrita Sen at Barclays Capital. “We don’t
believe there is reason to be optimistic even if Gaddafi were
to step down, as the power vacuum would be very large.”

ICE Brent crude for May (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) was last down 1.49 cents at
$125.18 a barrel. U.S. crude for May delivery (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) fell $1.51
cents to $111.32 a barrel.

YEN OFF LOWS

The dollar rose against the euro after the U.S. Congress on
Friday reached a last-minute budget deal that avoided a
government shut-down. A rally in the dollar was also overdue
after having been sold off versus the euro for the last four
months. For the month of April, the dollar was still down more
than 2 percent.

In midday New York trading, the euro (EUR=: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 0.3
percent to $1.4437, after hitting a 15-month high around
$1.4486 last Friday. The high on electronic trading platform
EBS was $1.4485.

“We’re having some sort of relief rally after the U.S.
government did not shut down as feared,” said David Watt,
senior currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

The yen was off an 11-month low against the euro and a
2-1/2-year trough versus the Australian dollar as another
earthquake in Japan led some investors to pare bearish bets
against the country’s currency.

A strong aftershock hit Japan on Monday, while the
evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
plant was expanded because of high levels of radiation.
[ID:nL3E7FA058]

The strong aftershock in Japan unnerved some investors,
driving down copper prices after they earlier reached five-week
highs on a weaker dollar and robust imports by top consumer
China.

The euro touched its highest against the yen since May 2010
of 123.33 yen (EURJPY=R: Quote, Profile, Research) on trading platform EBS. It later gave
up gains and was last down 0.3 percent at 122.34 yen.

Traders said speculator positioning and some technical
indicators suggested that recent rallies in the euro and the
Australian dollar against the yen could pause in the short run,
with the latest in a series of quakes being used by some to
book profits.

Expectations of another rise in European Central Bank
interest rates by July kept the euro close to recent highs and
pushed euro zone government bond prices lower.

German Bund yields (DE10YT=TWEB: Quote, Profile, Research) briefly rose above 3.5
percent for the first time since August 2009.

The ECB raised its benchmark rate by 25 basis points last
week to 1.25 percent, the first hike since 2008, and used
language suggesting that another rise is in the pipeline.
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica and Gertrude
Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Jeremy Gaunt, Saikat Chatterjee,
Blaise Robinson and Anirban Nag in London; Editing by Leslie
Adler)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street up on earnings optimism; oil off