India Morning Call-Global Markets

Sun Feb 9, 2014 9:46pm EST

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks jumped on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its first weekly gain in four as the impact of a weak reading on the labor market was dulled by harsh weather conditions and traders focused on expectations of further economic strength.

Nonfarm payrolls added 113,000 jobs in January - well shy of the forecast for 185,000. December payrolls were revised upward by only 1,000 to 75,000. The U.S. unemployment rate in January hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent, slightly above the 6.5 percent level that Fed officials have said would prompt them to consider raising benchmark interest rates from near zero.

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LONDON - Britain's top shares rose for a third straight session on Friday, led by mining companies, which were helped by an upbeat outlook from steelmaker ArcelorMittal ISPA.AS.

UK equities sold off after a disappointing U.S. jobs report, then recovered on confidence that shares will continue to benefit as global economic growth picks up speed.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a one-week high on Monday morning, moving further away from a four-month low hit last week as gains on Wall Street and a softer yen underpinned sentiment.

Analysts said that foreign investors including macro funds are cautiously stepping back to buy recently-battered Japanese stocks as they keep an eye on key events this week. New Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivers her first testimony to the House on Tuesday and the senate on Thursday.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.1 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The yen wallowed at one-week lows against the dollar and euro early on Monday, having been beaten down late last week as U.S. stocks rallied after investors got over a disappointing set of headlines on the U.S. labour market.

Traders said expectations that Asian stocks could track Wall Street were keeping a lid on demand for the low-yielding Japanese currency for now.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries yields fell on Friday after employers hired far fewer workers than expected in January, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy at the same time as the Federal Reserve pares its bond purchase program.

Nonfarm payrolls rose only 113,000 in January, below economists' expectations of 185,000 jobs, and job gains for December were barely revised higher. The unemployment rate also hit a new five-year low of 6.6 percent.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold held steady on Monday after posting its biggest weekly gain in five weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of its stimulus tapering after a weak U.S. jobs report raised questions over the state of economic recovery.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,266.01 an ounce by 0021 GMT, after gaining 0.7 percent in the previous trading session. Gold is often seen as a safe-haven investment.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Copper prices inched up on Monday, after a below par jobs report in the United States suggested the Federal Reserve may slow the pace it pulls back on a commodities-friendly stimulus.

But early Asian trade lacked a strong lead from China, where activity remained sluggish on the first week of trade post the Lunar New year holidays.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up by 0.13 percent to $7,150 a tonne by 0115 GMT. Prices last week recouped 1 percent for the biggest weekly gain this year, but prices are still down 3 percent in the year to date.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Oil rose by more than $2 to one-month highs on Friday, fueled by a sharp rally in gasoline and heating oil as supplies tightened and refiners started to shut down plants for maintenance.

U.S. crude oil rose above $100 a barrel for the first time this year, following a rally in the equities market triggered by the U.S. unemployment rate falling to a five-year low.

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