India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, April 15 Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:04pm EDT

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MUMBAI, April 15 (Reuters) -

EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks closed higher on Monday as Citigroup's earnings and strong retail sales gave investors reasons to buy equities despite a resurgence of geopolitical uncertainties.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 146.49 points, or 0.91 percent, to end at 16,173.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 14.92 points, or 0.82 percent, to finish at 1,830.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 22.96 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 4,022.69.

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LONDON - A rise in food and retail stocks, seen as "defensive" plays with investors worried by tensions in Ukraine, enabled Britain's top equity index to inch higher on Monday.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up by 0.3 percent, or 22.06 points, at 6,583.76 points. Trading volumes came in at around 1.1 times above the index's 3-month daily average.

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TOKYO - Japanese stocks rebounded from six-month lows on Tuesday morning after strong U.S. retail sales data helped calm nerves amid the backdrop of an escalating crisis in Ukraine.

A pullback in the yen on revived risk appetite also underpinned the Nikkei share average, which rose 0.8 percent to 14,023.46 in mid-morning trade. The index shed 0.4 percent to 13,910.16 on Monday, the lowest closing level since Oct. 8.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.1 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The dollar started off the Asian session on firmer footing on Tuesday, after U.S. retail sales data signalled a brighter outlook for the U.S. economy.

U.S. retail sales recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March, the latest data set to suggest growth was set to spring back in the second quarter after an unusually harsh winter.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries yields rose on Monday as stocks gained and better-than-expected retail sales data boosted expectations that economic growth is picking up after months of weakness blamed in part on bad weather.

Investors are focused on a busy week of data releases for signs on the strength of the economy as the Federal Reserve pares its bond purchases and look toward interest rate hikes that most expect to begin next year.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold was trading near its highest in three weeks on Tuesday as heightened tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine lifted the metal's safe-haven appeal.

Spot gold was steady at $1,325.90 an ounce by 0021 GMT, not too far from its 3-week high of $1,330.90 hit on Monday.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Nickel hit its highest in nearly 14 months on Monday on Indonesia's ore export ban, now in its third month, and on the prospect of tougher sanctions on Russia over its actions towards Ukraine.

The Indonesian government banned exports of nickel ore in mid-January to force the creation of value-added mineral processing in the country.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude oil rose more than $1.50 on Monday as tensions escalated in Ukraine, while U.S. crude rose modestly after positive retail sales data signaled a rebound in the U.S. economy.

Western powers agreed on Monday to expand sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine by putting more people under asset freezes and visa bans as violence escalated in Ukraine.

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