India morning call-Global markets

Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:38pm EST

EQUITIES NEW YORK- U.S. stocks scored modest gains on Tuesday as investors exercised restraint from making big bets in a short session ahead of the Christmas holiday, with the Dow and S&P 500 once again ending at record highs.

Markets closed early on Tuesday and will remain shut until Thursday for the holiday. Trading was extremely light during the day's abbreviated session, which ended at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT).

LONDON - Britain's top share index rose for a fifth session on Tuesday, posting its third-sharpest Christmas rally since its launch in 1984, helped by a surge in broadcaster BSkyB.

Shares in BSkyB rose 2.5 percent, taking their gains so far this week to 4.9 percent, as a Daily Mail report revived speculation about a bid from Vodafone, aimed at bundling the groups' broadband, TV and landline offers.

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TOKYO - Tokyo's Nikkei share average climbed 0.9 percent to a more than six-year high on Thursday, with buying mostly by retail investors as tax-free investment accounts aimed at driving Japanese savings into stocks kicked off. For full report, double click on ----

HONG KONG - Financial markets in Hong Kong are closed on Thursday for the Boxing Day holiday. Markets will reopen on Friday. For full report, double click on ----

FOREIGN EXCHANGE TOKYO-The dollar hit a five-year high against the yen on Thursday and held firm against other currencies on expectations the U.S. economy will continue a solid recovery, allowing the Federal Reserve to gradually withdraw its stimulus next year.

The dollar rose to 104.645 yen in early Asian trade, slightly above last week's high of 104.64 yen. It last stood at 104.62 yen, up 0.2 percent on the day. For a full report, double click on ---- TREASURIES U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Tuesday with benchmark yields hovering near three-month highs as investors trimmed their bond holdings ahead of a shortened session before Christmas.

The bond market closed at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) on Tuesday, and will be closed Wednesday as well.

Worries over when the Federal Reserve might raise short-term interest rates after it stops buying bonds have bogged down the market, especially among medium-term issues. For a full report, double click on ---- COMMODITIES GOLD Gold drifted lower in thin year-end trade on Thursday as a rally in equities and a strong economic recovery in the United States dented its safe-haven appeal.

Gold is headed for a near 30 percent drop this year as the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to begin unwinding its stimulus measures, ending a 12-year rally that was prompted by rock bottom interest rates and monetary stimulus by global central banks. For a full report, double click on ---- BASE METALS Shanghai copper climbed to its highest level since August on Wednesday, rising for a fourth straight session, as overnight gains in New York and strong U.S. data underpinned prices.

Copper futures in New York rallied more than 2 percent on Tuesday after an errant buy order placed shortly before midday there unleashed a burst of buying as stops were triggered, sending prices to their highest since April.

For a full report, double click on ---- OIL Brent oil settled at a near a one-month high on Tuesday in thin pre-holiday trade as traders covered short positions amid civil unrest in Africa that curbed global supply while demand for gasoline rose.

Conflict in South Sudan threatened the country's oil output, adding to supply concerns as Libya's production is off by more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

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