India Morning Call-Global Markets

Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:53pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with some of the market's recent best performers like technology and biotech shares leading the way down.

Concerns that the crisis in Ukraine could escalate gave investors a reason to drop some of the market's biggest trading favourites. The Nasdaq fell below its 50-day moving average earlier, in a sign of weakening near-term momentum.

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LONDON - Britain's top share index fell on Monday on concerns about the situation in Ukraine and a slowdown in Chinese growth, while energy providers were hit by worries they may be forced to break up their businesses.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.6 percent lower at 6,520.39 points, falling for nine of the past 12 trading sessions. It has lost more than 4 percent this month.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Tuesday morning as the seemingly intractable crisis in Ukraine and soft U.S. manufacturing activity weighed on sentiment, though gains in small-sized companies limited the losses.

The benchmark Nikkei shed 0.2 percent to 14,442.88, trading below its 200-day moving average of 14,509.71. It soared 1.8 percent on Monday.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open down 0.3 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The U.S. dollar nursed broad losses early on Tuesday, having come under pressure late in New York as investors bought the euro and drove the Australian dollar to its highest this year.

Some analysts pointed to a disappointing industry survey, which showed U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in March, as one reason for the dollar's weakness.

The greenback initially held its ground after financial data firm Markit said its preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index slipped to 55.5 from 57.1 in February.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - The U.S. Treasuries yield curve flattened on Monday, with long-dated debt prices gaining while intermediate-dated debt prices pared losses, before the U.S. government sells $96 billion in new debt to investors nervous that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than expected.

Short and intermediate-dated Treasuries yields have jumped since Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank could raise rates six months after its current bond-buying program ends, suggesting a potential hike could happen as early as spring of 2015.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday, but was just off a one-month low after tumbling about 2 percent in the previous session as hedge funds sold down amid expectations of higher U.S. interest rates.

Spot gold added $1.49 an ounce to $1,310.61 by 2357 GMT, having fallen to $1,307.54 an ounce on Monday, its weakest since Feb. 20.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper was treading water on Tuesday, with hopes of economic stimulus by Beijing providing a floor for prices after a survey showed that growth in the country's factories slowed for a fifth month in March.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was steady at $6,475 a tonne by 0121 GMT after closing the previous session little changed.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude oil fell and U.S. crude edged slightly higher in choppy trading on Monday as lacklustre manufacturing data from the world's largest oil consumer was balanced by supply concerns over the Ukraine crisis and turmoil in Libya.

China's manufacturing activity shrank in March, a preliminary private survey showed, pointing to slowing demand in the world's biggest energy consumer and adding to a string of weak indicators this year that have reinforced concerns about a slowdown.

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