India Morning Call-Global Markets

Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:56pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended higher on Tuesday, rebounding from a two-day decline as the hard-hit biotechnology sector regained its momentum and a strong read on consumer confidence increased optimism about the economy.

Trading was choppy throughout the day with the Nasdaq at one point turning lower, led by a sharp reversal in biotech shares.

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LONDON - UK shares rose on Tuesday, bouncing off of a six-week closing low, after Kingfisher and easyJet posted updates that raised optimism about the outlook for corporate earnings this year.

Home improvements retailer Kingfisher jumped 6 percent as it said it would return about 200 million pounds ($330 million) to shareholders in the current year, after meeting forecasts with a 4.1 percent rise in 2013-14 profit.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average was modestly higher on Wednesday, with early trade characterised by choppiness ahead of the fiscal year end although Kirin Holdings 2503.T soared on a report that it will raise its dividend.

The Nikkei tacked on 0.2 percent to 14,443.43 in mid-morning trade, stepping away from an early spike to a one-week high of 14,569.9.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.7 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The euro steadied in early Asian trade on Wednesday, bouncing off lows after comments from European Central Bank officials helped temper some of their earlier dovish views.

The single currency hit a three-week low on Tuesday after ECB governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said negative interest rates were an option to temper euro strength and that quantitative easing was not out of the question to combat deflation.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - Five-year U.S. Treasuries yields were steady after the Treasury sold $32 billion new two-year notes to solid demand on Tuesday, though light purchases by dealers raised some concerns about how much demand there will be for Wednesday's five-year note auction.

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

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold barely moved in early trade on Wednesday, hovering near its weakest level since mid-February, as shares firmed and the dollar held steady against other currencies on signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper slipped on Wednesday after logging the biggest daily gain in six months in the previous session, as hopes eased that Beijing will act to stimulate China's economy after a slowdown in factory activity.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude oil futures rose on Tuesday on renewed geopolitical risk over Russia and supply disruptions in Nigeria and Libya, while U.S. crude was pressured lower by forecasts for a stock build.

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