GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks stay near all-time high after Fed signals
(Updates to start of U.S. trading, changes byline, dateline, previous LONDON)
* MSCI world index strains for all-time high
* Brazil drops as Petrobras hit
* Yellen leads some to pare bets on immediate rate hike
By David Gaffen
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - An index of world equities stayed within reach of an all-time high on Wednesday as investors welcomed comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggesting the U.S. central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates.
Markets were also supported by slightly better than expected Chinese factory activity data and U.S. sales of new homes.
Shares in Brazil fell, meanwhile, led by a 7 percent drop in Petrobras, the country's largest company, after its credit was downgraded to 'junk' status due to an ongoing corruption probe and concerns about liquidity. Brazil's Bovespa index was down 1.3 percent.
MSCI's 46-country world index was up 0.1 percent at 433.29, nearing the 434.24 all-time peak it scaled in September. Continuación...