India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:01pm EST

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MUMBAI Feb 25 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks rose on Monday and the S&P 500 hit a record intraday high, helped by gains in health insurers' shares and optimism about merger activity.

The Nasdaq reached a 14-year high, though all three indexes closed off their highs for the session. The S&P 500 finished less than a point away from its record closing high of 1,848.38.

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LONDON - Gains at mobile telecoms group Vodafone and business supplies distributor Bunzl enabled Britain's top equity index to rise on Monday for the seventh straight session.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up by 0.4 percent, or 27.80 points, at 6,865.86 points - just 1.2 percent below its December 1999 record level of 6,950.60.

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TOKYO - The Nikkei average advanced to a 3-1/2-week peak on Tuesday after a rally in Wall Street shares to historic highs triggered short-covering in battered Japanese stocks.

Shares of Softbank Corp climbed to their highest in a month on a report that the company is seeking to buy a stake in Line Corp, a mobile-messaging service controlled by South Korea's Naver Corp.

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HONG KONG - HANG SENG INDEX .HSI TO OPEN UP 0.5 PCT

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

TOKYO - The dollar steadied against its rivals in early Asian trade on Tuesday as traders sought more clarity on the pace of the U.S. economic recovery after a series of soft data releases in the past few weeks.

The dollar index stood at 80.21, near the middle of its range in the past week between 79.93 and 80.42, with safe-haven demand for the greenback receding on growing hopes Ukraine may find some stability after the fall of Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovich.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries prices fell on Monday, with some investors exiting the safe-haven asset class as Wall Street swung higher and worries dwindled about troubled developing economies such as Ukraine.

After muted price changes in overseas and early New York trading, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were off 4/32 in price. That pushed the yield to 2.749 percent after going as high as 2.763 percent.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold ticked lower on Tuesday but held near its strongest level in four months on concerns over economic growth in China and political uncertainty over Ukraine after acting President Oleksander Turchinov warned the country was close to default.

Spot gold eased 0.07 percent to $1,335.60 an ounce by 0020 GMT after rising as high as $1,338.60 on Monday, its strongest since late October.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper on Tuesday bounced from its lowest in more than two weeks hit the day before, as worries about a crackdown on Chinese property development faded and major mergers in the United States boosted hopes that an economic revival was gaining steam.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had climbed 0.35 percent to $7,102 a tonne by 0128 GMT, after shedding 1.1 percent in the previous session.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent oil rose on Monday after production outages in Libya and South Sudan curbed exports and tightened global supply.

U.S. crude oil erased earlier gains but still ended higher on upbeat economic data and expectations that supplies would continue to drain from the benchmark delivery point for the U.S. oil futures contract.

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