India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, March 19 Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:53pm EDT

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MUMBAI, March 19 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks climbed for a second straight session on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 within striking distance of its record after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin soothed anxiety that tensions over Ukraine could escalate.

Gains were broad, with nine of the 10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes higher for the day. An S&P technology sector index , up 1.4 percent, led the advance, buoyed by a rally in Microsoft Corp.

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LONDON - Britain's top share index rose on Tuesday as stock markets rebounded after a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine, which some traders interpreted as being conciliatory in tone.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.6 percent, or 36.93 points, at 6,605.28 points - marking only the second time in the last eight sessions that it has ended in positive territory.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday morning after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin soothed anxiety about tensions over Ukraine, and realtors led the gains on news land prices in Japan's largest cities rose for the first time in six years.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open flat.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The dollar stood near its lowest level in more than four months against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, on some trepidation ahead of Janet Yellen's inaugural policy review as the Federal Reserve's chief.

Global markets breathed a sigh of relief after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he did not plan to seize other regions of Ukraine, a day after Crimean citizens voted to be annexed by Moscow.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries yields edged lower on Tuesday on uncertainty ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting and lingering concerns that East-West tensions surrounding Ukraine could escalate.

The Fed is expected to continue to reduce its monthly bond purchase program, but also alter its forward guidance when it gives its statement on Wednesday after its meeting. The meeting will be the first presided over by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold held steady on Wednesday as fears of an escalation of tensions in Ukraine eased slightly but markets remained cautious ahead a policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper edged up on Wednesday in thin volumes ahead of a key U.S. monetary policy meeting later in the session, while persistent worries over growth and credit markets in top user China dulled buying interest.

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OIL

NEW YORK - U.S. crude oil futures rose by more than $1 per barrel to its highest price in a week on Tuesday, following strong gains in equities outweighed forecasts for another build in domestic supplies, while Brent was bolstered by concerns over violence in Crimea.

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