* U.S. stocks lower in early trading
* Russian central bank unexpectedly cuts rates
* Fourth-quarter U.S. GDP growth slows to 2.6 percent pace (Updates with U.S. market openings)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The dollar edged higher on Friday and was on track to end January with gains of more than 5 percent, while stock indexes around the world fell as data showed U.S. growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter.
The dollar index, bolstered by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will be the first major central bank to raise interest rates, also was poised to end January with its longest run of gains since the greenback was floated in 1971. It was up 0.1 percent on Friday.
U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual pace after the third quarter’s spectacular 5 percent rate, the Commerce Department said in its first fourth-quarter GDP snapshot.
The headline number was “well below consensus expectations and that is definitely one of the data points that many bulls were looking for to justify staying bullish,” said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York.
Russia surprised markets by cutting interest rates as fears of a Russian recession mount following a plunge in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
The move pressured the rouble, which skidded as much as 4 percent against the dollar, and bolstered expectations that Turkey will cut rates again next week, sending the lira to a new record low.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 119.87 points, or 0.69 percent, to 17,296.98, the S&P 500 lost 15.79 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,005.46 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.40 points, or 0.52 percent, to 4,659.01.
European shares were down 0.5 percent, while the MSCI all-country world index declined 0.8 percent.
European shares were up about 7 percent for January, on track to post their best monthly performance in three years, while major U.S. stock indexes were on track for a second straight monthly decline.
European shares have been lifted recently by expectations that a bond-buying program by the European Central Bank will help the region’s economic recovery, while U.S. stocks have been hit by falling oil prices and concern about weak overseas demand.
In the U.S. bond market, the 10-year note was up 21/32 in price to yield 1.6812 percent.
Brent crude edged up 45 cents to $49.58 a barrel, supported by renewed violence in Iraq, but a persistent global supply glut kept the market on course for a seventh straight month of declines, its longest bear run on record. U.S. crude CLc1> was up 87 cents at $45.40. (Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York; Jemima Kelly, Atul Prakash, Marius Zaharia and Patrick Graham in London and Lisa Twaronite in Tokyo; Editing by Janet Lawrence, Susan Fenton and Meredith Mazzilli)