India Morning Call-Global Markets

Thu Feb 6, 2014 10:23pm EST

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks posted their best day of the year on Thursday after a drop in applications for unemployment insurance boosted confidence in the economy and Disney's results overshot expectations.

The rally came ahead of the widely-followed payrolls report for January due Friday, which some are expecting to be affected by the extreme weather that hit much of the United States. December's number was a much-lower-than-expected 74,000 and an upward revision wouldn't be a surprise.

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LONDON - Britain's top equity index rose for a second straight day on Thursday, led by strong gains from heavyweight telecoms group which helped the market recover its poise after a recent five-day losing streak.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE, which had fallen for five straight days during the past two weeks, closed up 100.39 points, or 1.6 percent, at 6,558.28 points.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei average jumped 2 percent on Friday morning, moving away from a four-month low hit earlier this week, as investor sentiment was brightened by a rally on Wall Street and hopes for an upbeat U.S. jobs report later in the day.

The Nikkei was up 1.7 percent at 14,401.82 in midmorning trade after touching 14,448.14 earlier, recovering from a four-month trough of 13,995.86 set on Wednesday.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.4 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

TOKYO - The dollar drifted slightly lower in early Asian trading on Friday, as investors cautiously awaited the latest non-farm payrolls report for clues on the health of the U.S. labour market and the broader economy.

The payrolls data, which is due later Friday, is expected to show that employers added 185,000 jobs in January, according to the median estimate of 101 economists polled by Reuters.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries yields rose on Thursday to their highest in a week as investors positioned for Friday's highly anticipated jobs report for January, which is expected to show more robust growth than December's surprisingly weak U.S. jobs gains.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold was little changed on Friday ahead of a key U.S. jobs report but the metal looked poised to post a gain for a sixth week out of seven as global equities remained on edge over economic growth concerns.

Spot gold was largely flat at $1,256.35 an ounce by 0020 GMT. It has gained about 1 percent this week.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper was set to post its largest weekly rise this year on Friday after encouraging signs in the U.S. labour market boosted optimism about global growth, while Shanghai copper rose as China returned from a week-long break.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up by 0.1 percent to $7,140 a tonne by 0113 GMT from the previous session when it hit a ten-day peak at $7,210 a tonne.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude oil ended nearly a dollar higher on Thursday, supported by a stronger euro, French port closures and tighter supplies from the North Sea.

The euro reached a one-week high against the U.S. dollar on the back of the European Central Bank's announcement that it would leave its main interest rate unchanged.

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