LONDON (Reuters) –
Global stocks headed toward a sixth consecutive session of gains on Friday, although European shares were weak, as investors took some comfort from government moves to stimulate a deteriorating world economy.
The dollar was weaker. Demand for U.S. Treasuries and euro zone government bonds rose as concerns remained about the global economic decline.
Oil fell below $53 a barrel, on course to end the month down more than 20 percent, as OPEC ministers prepared to meet in Cairo to discuss potential further supply cuts.
Indian stocks were higher as a siege in Mumbai between police and Islamist gunmen continued, but India's 10 year bond yield fell to its lowest level in three years on expectations that the attacks will an impetus to rate cuts.
Globally, the MSCI all-country world index (.MIWD00000PUS) rose 0.3 percent, bringing this week's gain to 11.6 percent. It would be the first weekly gain in four weeks.
"On a range of measures, there is undoubted value to be found in many of the world's equity markets," said Sarah Arkle, chief investment officer with Threadneedle Asset Management.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3) was flat, held back by weak oil-related shares.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.7 percent for its best week in a month. It (.n225) gained 138.88 points to 8,512.27, while the broader Topix (.TOPX) was up 0.7 percent to 834.82.
A monthly Reuters survey found that Japanese retail investors became slightly less pessimistic about domestic equities in November, fitting with other signs globally that recent market sell offs may be bottoming at least temporarily.
OPEC TO MEET
Oil fell to just below $53 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is to hold an informal meeting on Saturday in Cairo, as it struggles to slice output fast enough to keep pace with a recessionary reduction in fuel demand in the West that has sent crude prices down nearly two-thirds since July.
U.S. light crude for January delivery stood at $52.92 a barrel, down $1.52.
The dollar lost traction against major currencies against the slightly brighter environment for shares.
"The phase of dollar strength that we've seen since the beginning of the crisis seems to be going through a pause in the context of a slightly better stock market environment," said Audrey Childe-Freeman, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in London.
"There's still a lot of risk around however," she added.
The dollar was 0.3 percent lower against a basket of six major currencies at 85.523 (.DXY), while the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.2915. The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 95.22 yen.
Euro zone government bonds rose, reflecting concern about the economy and expectations of interest rate cuts. Two-year Schatz yields sank 10 basis points to 2.219 percent.