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MARKETS-GLOBAL-Dollar gains on GDP, pushing oil, stocks lower

Herbert Lash
Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 11:39 AM ET

* Euro tumbles after surprise ECB rate cut

* European shares initially scale 5-year highs

* Dollar adds to gains after strong U.S. Q3 GDP data

* Brent oil slides to 4-month low at $103.52 a barrel

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth, coupled with a surprise interest rate cut by the European Central Bank, pushed the dollar up and crude oil prices down on Thursday.

The ECB's unexpected move also caused equity markets to retreat after earlier gains.

The euro fell 1 percent to a more than seven-week low against the dollar after the ECB cut rates to a record low and said it would prime banks with liquidity into 2015 to keep the euro zone's recovery from stalling as inflation tumbles.

Adding to the dollar's strength was data showing that the American economy grew in the third quarter at the quickest pace in a year while U.S. jobless claims fell in the latest week. The data supported the case for a cutback in stimulus by the Federal Reserve later this year.

Brent oil prices <LCOc1) fell below $104 a barrel on the stronger dollar, while plentiful crude supplies and continued progress in talks between Iran and the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program also weighed on oil prices.

U.S. oil slipped 85 cents to $93.95 a barrel.

Stocks tied to the energy sector fell, with the PHLX Oil Service Sector Index declining 0.63 percent and the S&P Energy Index down 0.68 percent.

"This morning's GDP report sent the dollar surging, and anything commodity-based that was dollar-related just turned and headed south," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

"That just rolled over into the rest of the (stock) market, so I think you blame it on the stronger dollar," he said.

MSCI's all-country world stock index fell 0.68 percent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares pared gains of more than 1 percent to trade 0.17 percent higher.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 25.44 points, or 0.16 percent, at 15,721.44. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 7.91 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,762.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 39.58 points, or 1.01 percent, at 3,892.36.

U.S. stocks were also pulled lower by a 3.7 percent drop in Qualcomm Inc to $67.13, the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. Qualcomm after the market close on Wednesday forecast revenue for fiscal 2014 that disappointed investors.

Twitter Inc shares soared 92 percent in their first day of trading. The shares opened at $45.10 after pricing at $26 a share on Wednesday, and rose as high as $50.

Bond prices rose. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 5/32 in price to yield 2.6201 percent.

U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said. It was a pick-up from a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter and beat economists' expectations for 2.0 percent growth.

The ECB's decision to cut rates to a record low of 0.25 percent followed months of grumbling by governments and bankers over the impact of a strong euro on the region's fragile recovery and weak inflation rate.

The euro slid more than 1 percent after the decision, hitting a seven-week low of $1.3356 and down from around $1.3490 just before the ECB announcement. It last traded at 1.3409 to the dollar.

The dollar index rose 0.45 percent to 80.844.