Investors look at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Fuyang, Anhui province
Investors look at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Fuyang, Anhui province REUTERS

World stocks and oil prices ebbed from recent highs on Tuesday after China raised interest rates for the second time in just over a month, spurring worries of the hike's impact on global economic demand.

The euro recovered, lifted by demand from Asian central banks and pressure on the commodity-sensitive Australian dollar.

The rate hike also fueled concerns over Chinese demand for commodities, sending copper and tin prices lower. Spot gold prices XAU=, however, rose $16.05, or 1.19 percent, to $1364.80.

China's central bank raised its benchmark one-year deposit rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent on Tuesday.

Stocks have fallen back on the China news, markets are overheating and face inflationary pressures, Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.

They are vulnerable to anything that reduces liquidity.

The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS remained little changed at its highest level since August 2008, up 0.2 percent. The Thomson Reuters global stock index was flat.

U.S. stocks coasted, lingering near 2-1/2 year highs as investors focused on upcoming corporate earnings and mergers.

At open, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.32 points, or 0.11 percent, to 12,174.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.32 points, or 0.02 percent, at 1,319.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.53 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,785.52.

Similarly, Europe's FTSEurofirst 300 index hovered near 29-month highs hit on Monday, easing 0.4 percent.

Emerging stocks .MSCIEF continued to falter, down 0.2 percent as Brazil reported the biggest surge of consumer prices in nearly six years in January.

Hurting the most from China's move was U.S. crude oil CLc1, which fell 0.6 percent to $86.96 a barrel as investors worried about oil demand in the world's largest energy consumer.

The dollar fell against the basket of major trading-partner currencies .DXY by 0.23 percent, while the euro EUR= gained 0.43 percent to $1.3645.

Inflationary concerns also pressured U.S. Treasury debt prices. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note US10YT=RR was down 7/32, with the yield at 3.67 percent, while the 2-year note US2YT=RR was down 2/32, with the yield at 0.79 percent. The 30-year bond US30YT=RR was down 6/32, with the yield at 4.71 percent.

Chinese markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.