A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Picture: AFP
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK — World stock indexes edged lower on Friday, pulling back after recent gains fueled by optimism that the US Federal Reserve will hold off from raising interest rates in the near term, while US Treasury yields were little changed.

Still, benchmark US yields hovered near two-week lows as traders moved to the sidelines following a recent bond market rally.

MSCI’s all-country world stock index shed 0.4% but was on track for its biggest weekly gain since mid-July.

"There is some consolidation after the very active and positive week for stocks based on news flow from the central banks," said David Donabedian, chief investment officer of Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 45.78 points, or 0.25%, at 18,346.68, the S&P 500 lost 4.56 points, or 0.21%, to 2,172.62 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.44 points, or 0.21%, to 5,328.09.

Europe’s STOXX 600 was down 0.8%. U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were up 1/32 in price for a yield of 1.627%, down 0.5 basis point from Thursday. Earlier on Friday, it touched 1.606%, its lowest since Sept. 9, Reuters data showed.

In the foreign exchange market, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren’s comments that he believed US short-term interest rates should be raised now helped lift the dollar index, which was last up 0.1% at 95.531.

The dollar index was still on track for its worst week in a month.

Oil prices fell as investors awaited details on Saudi and Iranian positions ahead of a potential production freeze.

Brent crude oil was down 0.4% at $47.46 a barrel, while US crude was down 0.9% at $45.91.

For the week, Brent was up 4% and US crude gained 7 percent for their biggest advance since the week ended Sept. 19.