India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:04pm EST

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MUMBAI Jan 23 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - The S&P 500 closed flat on Wednesday as a mixed bag of corporate earnings failed to give investors the confidence to push equities higher with the index near record levels.

For the second day in a row, the Dow posted outsized losses following weak results from one of its components while the Nasdaq climbed, with BlackBerry one of its biggest boosts.

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LONDON - Britain's FTSE 100 eased off 8-month highs on Wednesday after strong jobs data raised the spectre of interest rate hikes and analysts highlighted concerns about companies' weak earnings and high valuations. Data showed the unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in the three months to November, below even the most optimistic analyst forecast and just a decimal point above the threshold where the Bank of England has said it may think about raising interest rates.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei stock average advanced to a two-week high on Thursday, helped by gains in electronics component makers after strong results from Nidec, while some investors sought underperformers in the banking sector.

The Nikkei .N225 was up 0.7 percent at 15,925.51 after rising as high as 15,958.58 - edging closer to the 16,000 mark it had crossed last month for the first time in six years.

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HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Hang Seng to open flat.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The Canadian dollar slid to 4 1/2-year lows on Thursday after the Bank of Canada said the currency's depreciation should help exports, while the Australian dollar weakened following a disappointing survey of Chinese manufacturers.

In contrast, sterling took off after a surprisingly big fall in the UK jobless rate prompted investors to price in an earlier start to rate hikes in Britain.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Wednesday and benchmark yields edged up from five-week lows, with prices dragged lower by weaker German government debt.

Bund prices declined partly on robust demand for a new 10-year issue of Spanish government debt, signaling investors' appetite for riskier euro zone assets as the region shows some signs of better times ahead.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold fell to its lowest level in nearly two weeks on Thursday as investors awaited U.S. data to gauge the strength of the economy, while platinum eased from a 2-1/2 month high ahead of planned strikes at South African mines.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper firmed on Thursday after a drop of nearly one percent in the previous session, as markets eyed the release later on Thursday of China's first indicator of manufacturing health for the year for demand cues from the world's top user of metals.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Oil rose more than a dollar on Wednesday to settle at its highest price this year on the startup of a new major pipeline, expected to help eliminate a bottleneck that has depressed the U.S. futures for three years, and on expectations that frigid weather in the Northeast would prompt strong demand for heating fuel.

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