India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, April 23 Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:57pm EDT

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MUMBAI, April 23 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as a host of solid earnings reports, along with strength in the healthcare sector, helped lift the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to their sixth straight advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.12 points or 0.40 percent, to end at 16,514.37. The S&P 500 gained 7.66 points or 0.41 percent, to 1,879.55. The Nasdaq Composite added 39.912 points or 0.97 percent, to 4,161.458.

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LONDON - Corporate activity in the pharmaceutical sector on Tuesday pushed Britain's benchmark stock index to a two-week high and to within sight of a peak for this year.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca rose 4.7 percent, with trading volumes in the stock more than three times its 90-day average, after the Sunday Times reported a 60-billion-pound ($101 billion) approach from U.S. peer Pfizer.

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TOKYO - Japan's benchmark Nikkei average opened up 0.64 percent at 14,480.41 on Wednesday, while the broader Topix .TOPX gained 0.69 percent to 1,170.49.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 0.6 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The world's major currencies started trade on Wednesday in Asia on familiar ground after an uninspired session that kept the dollar, euro and yen locked in narrow ranges.

The euro last traded at $1.3806, having drifted up from a near two-week low of $1.3785. Against the yen, the common currency firmed a touch to 141.65, while the dollar was flat at 102.60.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - Short- and intermediate-dated U.S. Treasuries yields edged higher on Tuesday after a weak two-year note auction and as signs of improvement in the U.S. economy raised the prospect of tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, driving a preference for longer-dated Treasuries.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales slipped 0.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million units in March, the lowest level since July 2012 but still stronger than economists had expected. There was also an increase in supply and more first-time buyers entered the market.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold was trading near its lowest in more than two months on Wednesday as stronger equities dented the metal's safe-haven appeal and bullion funds showed weak investor appetite.

Spot gold was trading flat at $1,283.40 an ounce by 0021 GMT. It fell to a low of $1,277.10 on Tuesday - its weakest since Feb. 11

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper futures edged lower on Wednesday ahead of reading on China's manufacturing activity, with a further contraction likely to cut the appetite for risky assets, although nickel hit the highest in more than 14 months on tighter supply.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3 percent at $6,650 a tonne by 0110 GMT.

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OIL

NEW YORK - U.S. crude futures fell on Tuesday ahead of data expected to show that inventories in the world's top oil-consuming nation have risen close to record highs.

Brent also fell but was cushioned by continued concerns of an escalation in the standoff in Eastern Ukraine that could lead to further Western sanctions against Russia and disrupt supplies from one of the world's biggest producers.

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