India Morning Call-Global Markets

Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:05pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended up on Friday but off their session highs as a late afternoon selloff in the biotechnology sector weighed on the overall market.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58.83 points or 0.36 percent, to end at 16,323.06. The S&P 500 gained 8.58 points or 0.46 percent, to finish at 1,857.62. The Nasdaq Composite added 4.526 points or 0.11 percent, to close at 4,155.759.

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LONDON - Britain's top equity index rose on Friday, buoyed by gains in mining stocks that outweighed another slump in the insurance sector, which was hit by signs of further regulatory pressure.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up by 0.4 percent, or 27.26 points, at 6,615.58 points.

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TOKYO - Japanese shares climbed 1 percent to a 2-1/2-week high on Monday morning on growing hopes China would offer stimulus measures to bolster its sagging economy, with exporters leading the way on a softer yen.

Traders also suspect buying by fund managers as books close for the fiscal year-end, though the benchmark Nikkei is still expected to post its first quarterly decline in 1-1/2 years.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.8 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The yen stayed on the defensive early on Monday, reaching a fresh six-year low on the New Zealand dollar as demand for the safe-haven currency waned amid hopes of more stimulus from China.

The dollar traded at 102.87 yen, not far from Friday's one-week peak of 102.98, while the euro briefly touched a one-week high of 141.74. The kiwi rose as far as 89.23 yen, a level not seen since November 2007.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries yields rose on Friday as stocks gained, with yields of intermediate-dated notes nearing two-month highs as many analysts and traders see the debt as likely to continue to underperform longer-term bonds.

Two-year, three-year, five-year and seven-year notes have underperformed since Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates six months after its bond-buying program ends, suggesting a potential rate hike as early as spring 2015.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold traded below $1,300 an ounce on Monday, near a six-week low, and could face more pressure from weak physical demand in Asia and growing optimism about the U.S. economy.

Spot gold was up slightly by 0.1 percent to $1,295.20 an ounce by 0018 GMT, but remained not far from a six-week low of $1,285.34 hit on Friday

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper was steady on Monday but was set to post its biggest monthly drop since June, as a slow start to the year for manufacturers in top consumer China dimmed the outlook for metals demand.

Copper bottomed at three and a half year lows on March 19 and has since steadily gained steam as worries eased over slowing growth and bankruptcies at commodity companies.

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OIL

NEW YORK Brent crude traded near a two-week high at above $107 a barrel on Monday as simmering tensions between Russia and the West offset a rise in oil supply from OPEC's second largest producer Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, discussed ways to defuse the Ukraine crisis during talks in Paris on Sunday, in which Kerry made clear Washington still considered Russian actions in Crimea "illegal and illegitimate."

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