India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:06pm EST

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MUMBAI Feb 18 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with major indexes notching a second straight week of gains as investors were once again willing to overlook some soft economic data stemming from bad weather.

Gains were broad, with the Nasdaq closing at its highest level since 2000 and nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sector indexes rising on the day. The only declining sector was telecom , which is viewed as a defensive play. Energy, which is closely tied to the pace of economic growth, was the day's biggest advancer, up 1.5 percent.

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LONDON - Britain's top shares extended a two-week rally on Monday, with stocks that are sensitive to optimism over the economy receiving a boost from signs of growth both domestically and abroad.

A string of positives from Hammerson's results helped its shares rise 3.1 percent to their highest level since 2008, with the shopping centre landlord benefiting from a recovering British economy.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average bounced from a 1 1/2-week low on Tuesday morning, spurred by a retreat in the yen and investor hopes the central bank will hint of further stimulus after surprisingly soft fourth quarter gross domestic product data.

The Nikkei rose 1.1 percent to 14,620.20 in mid-morning trade, moving away from lows of 14,214.60 hit on the previous day after sentiment was soured by the soft fourth quarter growth figures.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open flat.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The yen inched down against its major counterparts in early trade on Tuesday, as investors waited to see if the Bank of Japan would hold policy steady as expected and perhaps hint at the possibility of further easing ahead.

The dollar rose about 0.2 percent to 102.10 yen, pulling away from a nearly two-week low of 101.37 yen hit in the previous session, while the euro also added about 0.2 percent on the day to 139.91 yen.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt yields edged higher on Friday after steep losses the previous session, but their uptrend could unravel as a recent run of weaker-than-expected economic data has raised doubts about the stability of the U.S. recovery.

A rally in stocks has also contributed to selling in the U.S. government bond market, with long yields rising for a second straight week after four consecutive weeks of losses.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold drifted slightly lower on Tuesday after scaling fresh 3-1/2 month highs early in the session, as safe-haven bids continued to support the metal amid a weaker U.S. dollar and concerns over economic growth.

Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,327.90 by 0024 GMT, after hitting $1,332.10 earlier in the session - its highest since November.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper held steady on Tuesday, supported by a post-Lunar New Year pick up in Chinese demand, but was down from near two-week highs hit the session before as traders waited for fresh readings on the pulse of the global manufacturing sector.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was trading flat at $7,171.50 a tonne by 0131 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude oil steadied around $109 a barrel on Monday, supported by a weak dollar, supply disruptions and a severe winter across North America that has boosted heating demand.

Speculators and hedge funds have sharply increased bullish bets on crude oil to near their highest ever, U.S. market data showed, with prices driven higher by a jump in demand for U.S. heating fuel.

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