GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares rise modestly, set for strongest week since July 2013
* Microsoft gain lifts U.S. shares * Ebola scare limits U.S. gains, weighs on Europe stocks * U.S. Treasuries prices edge higher on Ebola fear * Euro rises against dollar on short-covering (Adds U.S. market open, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON) By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose modestly on Friday as gains in Microsoft buoyed U.S. shares, even as news that a New York City doctor tested positive for the Ebola virus produced a modest safe-haven bid for U.S. Treasuries. MSCI's all-country world equity index was set for its biggest weekly gain since July 2013, while the benchmark U.S. S&P 500 was on pace for its first weekly gain in five and best week since the start of 2013, bolstered by solid U.S. corporate results. News of the first Ebola case in America's largest city weighed on European shares and held back buying in the United States, but overall the market's reaction to new Ebola cases was nowhere near as dramatic as the volatility witnessed earlier in October when fears of a rapid spread of the disease frightened investors. "I think the fears are a bit overdone. In previous cases, such as avian flu, the virus ended up being contained quite quickly," said Caroline Vincent, European equities fund manager at Cavendish Asset Management. Corporate earnings were mixed. Microsoft rose following its quarterly results, offsetting a plunge in Amazon after the online retailer reported an earnings miss. Microsoft shares were last up 1.6 percent at $45.75, while Amazon <AMZN.O. shares were last down 7.4 percent at $290.1. U.S. Treasuries prices were up slightly as worries about the virus stoked safe-haven demand for low-risk U.S. government debt, while the dollar was slightly lower as traders covered short positions against the euro. The euro zone's banking index edged up as investors bet that an update on the sector's financial health from the European Central Bank would not reveal too many problems at the region's top banks. As of the end of 2013, 25 banks failed the European stress tests, two sources familiar told Reuters. MSCI's all-country world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 countries, rose 0.3 percent, to 408.60. Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares dropped 0.3 percent at 1,313.32. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.3 percent, to 16,727.21, while the S&P 500 was up or 0.27 percent to 1,955.99. The Nasdaq Composite was last up or 0.34 percent, to 4,467.72. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.14 percent, to 85.725. U.S. 10-year Treasury notes were last up 6/32 in price to yield 2.2534 percent. Oil prices fell. Brent crude was last down 1.5 percent to $85.56 a barrel, while U.S. crude lost 1.9 percent, at $80.56. (Reporting by Sam Forgione in New York; Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and Richard Leong in New York and Marc Jones in London; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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