(Updates prices, changes comment, dateline from previous
* U.S. crude dips below $50 a barrel for first time since
* S&P 500 slips, but losses broad
* Euro dips with French election in focus; dollar firms
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 21 Oil prices fell on Friday as
oversupply concerns resurfaced, while the euro and stocks dipped
ahead of the first round in a too-close-to-call French
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, an anti-EU politician who
wants to ditch the euro and narrowly trails front-runner
Emmanuel Macron in French opinion polls, seized on the killing
of a policeman by a suspected Islamist militant to push her
policies on national security.
"Although Macron has been labeled as favorite to become the
next French president, an unexpected Le Pen victory could deal a
symbolic blow to the unity of the European Union and ultimately
create a tidal wave of risk aversion," FXTM analyst Lukman
Otunuga said in a note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.87 points, or
0.04 percent, to 20,587.58, the S&P 500 lost 2.75 points,
or 0.12 percent, to 2,353.09 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 0.02 points, or 0 percent, to 5,916.80.
Utilities and technology were the only S&P 500 sectors
firmly in the black.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.13
percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
shed 0.08 percent.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.30 percent. MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
closed 0.45 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei rose
'RIDE OUT THE WEEKEND'
Doubts that an OPEC-led production cut will restore balance
to an oversupplied market weighed on crude futures, with prices
set to post their largest weekly drop in six.
U.S. crude fell 1.97 percent to $49.71 per barrel
and Brent was last at $52.06, down 1.76 percent on the
In currency markets, the euro edged lower against the dollar
as investors braced for the first round on Sunday of a tight
French presidential election race, while the dollar steadied as
investors squared positions ahead of the Sunday vote.
"Traders understandably look content to flatten their books
and ride out the weekend's events from the sidelines," Omer
Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in
Washington, said in a note.
The dollar index rose 0.2 percent, with the euro
down 0.2 percent to $1.0693.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.17 percent versus the
greenback at 109.17 per dollar, while Sterling was last
trading at $1.2768, down 0.31 percent on the day.
U.S. Treasury prices gained slightly with eyes on France and
no major U.S. economic releases due to set market direction.
10-year note yields have held in a tight range since falling to
five-month lows on Tuesday, as investors await a catalyst to
determine if bonds will continue their rally.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price
to yield 2.2231 percent, from 2.241 percent late on Thursday.
Spot gold added 0.1 percent to $1,282.51 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures gained 0.05 percent to $1,284.50 an
Copper lost 0.09 percent to $5,618.00 a tonne.
(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru, Ron Bousso
in London and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Karen Brettell in New York)