June 17, 2019 / 2:59 PM / 4 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, yields steady with focus on Fed, central banks

* Fed likely to resist pressure to cut U.S. rates this week

* ECB forum, Bank of Japan also in focus

* Wall Street indexes open modestly higher

* Dollar index pulls back from June highs (Updates with U.S. markets; changes dateline, previous London)

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK, June 17 (Reuters) - A gauge of global stock markets edged higher on Monday to build on monthly gains and benchmark government bond yields hovered near multi-year lows as investors girded for developments later in the week from central banks in the United States and elsewhere.

The dollar fell against a basket of currencies after touching its highest point since the start of June.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.08%, as Wall Street's main indexes climbed in initial trading.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to give its policy statement on Wednesday with expectations running high the central bank is poised to cut interest rates this year.

The European Central Bank is also holding a forum in Portugal this week, with the Bank of Japan also set to hold its policy meeting later in the week.

“With so much coming later this week as far as central bank announcements, I think investors are basically in a holding pattern," said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank.

The Fed is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting this week but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year, with concerns about the global economy fueled by a heightening U.S.-China trade war.

“I think expectations have been set of a rate cut have been overdone so it will be interesting to see just how dovish the tone is,” Gaffney said.

The New York Federal Reserve said its gauge of business growth in New York state posted a record fall this month to its weakest level in more than 2-1/2 years, suggesting an abrupt contraction in regional activity.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.03 points, or 0.18%, to 26,135.64, the S&P 500 gained 6.89 points, or 0.24%, to 2,893.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 58.64 points, or 0.75%, to 7,855.30.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.02%. Shares of Lufthansa plunged 12% after the German airline lowered its profit outlook for the full year 2019 citing intense competition from low-cost rivals.

U.S. Treasury yields edged higher in choppy trading, as investors reversed safe-haven flows and booked profits on some gains last week, but the mood was still cautious.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 1/32 in price to yield 2.0924%, from 2.094% late on Friday.

Germany's 10-year bund yield, the benchmark for Europe, was last at -0.24%.

The dollar index fell 0.1%, with the euro up 0.18% to $1.1227.

U.S. crude fell 0.17% to $52.42 per barrel and Brent was last at $61.89, down 0.19% on the day.

Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London; Editing by Ed Osmond and Nick Zieminski

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