GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street ends higher on strong earnings; euro hits new low

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GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street ends higher on strong earnings; euro hits new low

WASHINGTON LONDON, April 27 Reuters -- Key U.S. equity indexes ended higher after a choppy trade on Wednesday on the back of strong earnings from Microsoft and Visa, as commodity stocks lifted European shares to their first gain in four sessions.

The euro dropped to its lowest level since 2017 after Russia stopped gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, and investors fretted more about the region's economy.

The dollar went up on course for its biggest monthly gain since January 2015, as expectations mounted that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates aggressively in the coming months and the American economy will be stronger than the euro zone.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.19% to 33,301 at the end of the day. The S&P 500 gained 0.21% to 4,183, while the S&P 500 gained 93 points. Microsoft Corp jumped 4.8% and Visa Inc surged 6.5% on strong earnings, helping to boost the S&P 500.

Some of Wall Street's biggest names have reported results this week, with investors seeking a counterweight to the deluge of negative news that has pounded stocks.

Google-parent Alphabet Inc fell 3.6% as slowing YouTube ads sales pushed quarterly revenue below expectations. Boeing Co dropped 7.5% after it disclosed $1.5 billion in abnormal costs from halting 777 X production.

After hitting six week lows at the open, the pan-European STOXX 600 increased by 0.7%, with miners and oil stocks both gaining.

German shares, which underperformed through the session, rallied at the close.

European earnings were mixed. Credit Suisse reported another quarterly loss and Deutsche Bank warned that Russia-Ukraine conflict could hurt annual earnings.

Russia cut natural gas flow to Bulgaria and Poland because it didn't want to pay in roubles, taking direct aim at European economies. This led investors to sell euros and buy U.S. dollars.

U.S Treasury yields went up as investors waited for more clarity on the restrictions the Fed is going to pursue next week to combat inflation by curbing economic growth.

The euro dropped to as low as $1.0512, its lowest point against the dollar since May 2017. Analysts said the war in Ukraine and growing concerns that the bloc's economy will fall into a recession this year are factors that led to the emergence of fears that the bloc's economy will fall into recession.

The euro's inability to rally on hawkish comments by European Central Bank members means lingering vulnerability to an external environment negatively affected by an ever-concerning situation in Ukraine and generalized USD strength, ING FX strategists wrote in a note to clients.

The dollar index, measuring the dollar against a basket of rivals, hit a five-year high.

The U.S. dollar benefits from the prospect of an ongoing flight to safety liquidity bid, said Jeremy Stretch, head of the G 10 FX strategy at CIBC.

There was more selling in Asia, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.82% after hitting its lowest since March. Tokyo's Nikkei fell by 1.17%.

In March, a battered Chinese stock market bucked the trend, gaining almost 3%, as data showed faster profit growth at industrial firms than a year earlier.

In the last session, China stocks fell to their lowest level in two years because of fears that persistent COVID lockdowns would hurt economic activity and disrupt global supply chains.

Oil prices moved higher on ongoing global supply concerns, with Brent crude futures finishing up 33 cents to $105.32 a barrel and U.S. crude trading up 32 cents at $102.02 a barrel.

Spot gold prices fell to a more than two-month low at the end of the day, down 1.05% by 4: 34 p.m. EST 2034 GMT, under pressure from the dollar's rally. The U.S. gold futures GCv 1 settled down 0.8% at $1,888. 70 per ounce.