India Morning Call-Global Markets

Thu Apr 3, 2014 11:03pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday, as investors turned cautious ahead of Friday's monthly jobs report, while a drop in biotech and momentum shares dragged the Nasdaq down nearly 1 percent.

The Dow ended down just a fraction of a point, within about 4 points of its record closing high of 16,576.66 set on Dec. 31. The Dow posted an all-time intraday high during the session.

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LONDON - British blue-chip shares edged lower after testing a three-week high on Thursday, as the end of a two-week rally in mining shares offset gains by Tullow Oil.

The session proved volatile, however, with gains made in the afternoon after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi affirmed an easy policy stance evaporating after below-expectations U.S. data.

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TOKYO - The Nikkei average slipped from a three-week high on Friday on caution before the release of U.S. jobs data, but speculation that the Bank of Japan may adopt more stimulus next week underpinned shares of real estate and brokerage firms.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Corp fell sharply as U.S. tech shares have come under pressure ahead of a planned IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings IPO-, in which the Japanese firm holds a large stake.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open down 0.4 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The euro traded at one-month lows against the dollar early on Friday, having suffered a bit of a setback after the European Central Bank notched up its dovish rhetoric following a widely expected decision to leave interest rates unchanged.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the Governing Council was unanimous in its commitment to also using "unconventional instruments within its mandate in order to cope effectively with risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation".

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries yields edged lower on Thursday after data showed U.S. initial jobless claims rose more than expected last week, causing some jitters ahead of the monthly labor market report due on Friday and spurring a safety bid.

The Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 in the week ended March 29, exceeding economists' expectations of a rise to 317,000.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold edged lower on Friday as the market nervously awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, even as the metal headed for a third straight week of losses amid better-performing equities and growing optimism about the U.S. economy.

Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,284.90 an ounce by 0021 GMT. The metal is down 0.7 percent for the week, though it has recovered a little after having hit a seven-week low on Tuesday.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Aluminium prices hit a five-month peak on Thursday on technical buying while copper slipped after Chinese stimulus measures disappointed investors.

Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed up 0.3 percent at $1,834, having earlier touched its highest since Nov. 4 at $1,846.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude held above $106 a barrel on Friday, on track for its biggest weekly fall in three months, on a potential rise in Libyan oil supply as major ports could open in days.

Libya has seen evidence of "good intentions" at indirect talks with eastern rebels which could lead to the lifting of their 8-month blockage, although divisions in the rebel camp may complicate matters.

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