GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar, debt trade flat before Fed minutes
* Eyes on Fed's June meeting minutes, Bernanke to speak Dollar off 3-year high, Euro stabilizes after 3-month low
* Oil rises on U.S. demand revival hopes
NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - Global equity markets, the dollar and government debt all traded near break-even on Wednesday, as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's June meeting for a clear indication of how long the Fed's stimulative bond-buying program will continue. Weak data from China and a rating downgrade of Italy curbed investors' enthusiasm for equities pending the release of minutes from the Fed's policy-setting meeting on June 18-19. After a five-day run of gains for world shares and the dollar's surge to a three-year high, investors were booking profits and squaring positions. But equities were trading slightly higher on the notion that either the minutes, or Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke - due to speak after the close of regular Wall Street trading - might suggest that the Fed may not begin to scale back its stimulus measures in September, as a market consensus has indicated. The minutes from the June 18-19 meeting of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee will be released at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). "The only surprise you could have is a positive one because everyone's expecting tapering so if the minutes were a little bit more dovish than markets expected it could even be a positive," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets. MSCI's all-country world equity index was up 0.25 percent, helped by a late rally in Chinese shares that was sparked by talk of policy easing to combat slowing growth there. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 12.88 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,313.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.43 points, or 0.03 percent, at 1,652.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.76 points, or 0.22 percent, at 3,512.02. The broad FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional European companies had initially gained but soon buckled as data showing China's exports fell for the first time in 17 months was followed by soft manufacturing figures from France, the Netherlands and Greece. China warned of a "grim" outlook for trade after data showed exports fell 3.1 percent in June against forecasts for a 4 percent rise. However, the data fueled talk that China's central bank may ease policy in an effort to boost growth.
The euro's gains against the dollar accelerated in early New York trade to reach a session high shortly after the release of limp U.S. data. U.S. wholesale inventories fell in May by the most in over a year and a half, the second straight monthly decline and a sign that restocking by businesses could weigh against economic growth in the second quarter. The euro rose as high as $1.2843, up 0.47 percent on the day, and was last trading at 1.2840. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 3/32, with the yield at 2.612 percent. Oil rose on both sides of the Atlantic, with the U.S. benchmark climbing to a 14-month high above $105 a barrel, buoyed by a sharp decline in fuel stockpiles in the United States, the top oil consumer. But worries about a sluggish Chinese economy, underlined by bleak June trade data, kept a lid on gains. U.S. crude rose $1.55 to $105.08 a barrel. Brent gained 13 cents to trade at $107.94.