By Riva Gold

Stocks steadied Friday and popular high interest-rate trades began to unwind, with the dollar easing off multiyear highs and government bonds, gold and the yen showing signs of stabilizing.

The Stoxx Europe 600 inched up less than 0.2% in the early minutes of trading, as investors weighed gains in the energy and health care sectors against a decline in banks, one of Thursday's best performers.

Markets in Asia were mixed, with Japanese stocks touching a high for the year, even as stocks in Australia and Hong Kong posted modest declines.

Futures pointed to small opening gains for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, which initially fell sharply after the Federal Reserve's Wednesday meeting. Investors sold U.S. stocks and boosted the dollar and bank shares, while avoiding gold and government bonds, after the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in a year and signaled a quicker-than-expected pace of rate rises in 2017.

The dollar inched down 0.1% during early European hours Friday, after the Fed's words helped send it to a 14-year high Thursday. The euro was last up 0.3% against the dollar at $1.0446, while the dollar fell 0.1% against the yen to Yen118.1840.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note inched down slightly to 2.576% from 2.580% on Thursday, its highest in over two years, while its German counterpart fell to 0.333% from 0.367%. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Gold clawed back some ground, and was last up 0.5% at $1,135 an ounce, after settling at its lowest since February.

Write to Riva Gold at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 16, 2016 04:00 ET (09:00 GMT)

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