GLOBAL MARKETS-Equities edge higher on tech rebound; oil slips

NEW YORK, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Global equity benchmarks edged higher and U.S. government bonds fell Thursday as investors weighed hopes of a rebound in U.S. technology stocks against the European Central Bank’s decision to leave its stimulus program unchanged despite choppy global economic data.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan snapped its longest losing streak since February with a 0.7% gain. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9% and Chinese blue chips rose 0.8%.

“It’s too soon to say whether the rout is over, or whether last night’s recovery is simply a pause,” ANZ analysts said in a note on Thursday.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.57% following modest declines in Europe and gains in Asia.

In morning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109.77 points, or 0.39%, to 28,050.24, the S&P 500 gained 14.11 points, or 0.42%, to 3,413.07, and the Nasdaq Composite added 86.91 points, or 0.78%, to 11,228.47.

The ECB’s decision to not ramp up its stimulus program now bolstered the euro, which has gained more than 8% against the dollar since the spring and more than 4% against a basket of currencies weighted by the bloc’s foreign trade.

The dollar index fell 0.503%, with the euro up 0.8% to $1.1896.

Economists said the ECB will likely have to take more action to support its economy, possibly in December.

In the United States, initial claims for state unemployment benefits came in slightly higher than expectations and totaled a seasonally adjusted 884,000 for the week ended Sept. 5, matching the number of applications received in the prior week as layoffs and furloughs persisted across industries.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote later on Thursday on a Republican bill that would provide around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, far below the $3 trillion Democrats have said is needed to stimulate an ailing economy and help Americans struggling through the pandemic.

Mizuho Bank’s head of economics and strategy in Singapore, Vishnu Varathan, said investors were grappling with whether this month’s steep U.S. tech sell-off was really done, and beyond that an increasingly uncertain U.S. political outlook and persistent Sino-U.S. tensions.

In a sign of the unsettled day in markets, safe haven assets such as U.S. government bonds and risk assets such as oil both slipped.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 0.7148%, from 0.703% late on Wednesday.

Concerns about demand for fuel also had oil prices back under pressure, in an indication of wavering confidence in global growth.

U.S. crude recently fell 0.63% to $37.81 per barrel and Brent was at $40.40, down 0.96% on the day.

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Will Dunham