India Morning Call-Global Markets

Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:50pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - The Nasdaq rose modestly in a choppy session on Thursday, lifted by a rally in Apple shares a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held the broader market in check.

Shares of Apple Inc, the most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization, jumped 8.2 percent to $567.77, the biggest gain since August, a day after the company posted revenue that far outpaced expectations. Apple also approved another $30 billion stock-buyback plan, raised its dividend and authorized a seven-for-one stock split.

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LONDON - Britain's top share index hit a seven-week closing high on Thursday, bolstered by expectations of deal-making in the healthcare sector, though renewed tension in Ukraine dented the market's gains. Smith & Nephew SN.L, Europe's largest maker of artificial hips and knees, led the blue-chip gains by rising 3.4 percent after medical device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc said it would buy orthopedic products company Biomet Inc.

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TOKYO - Tokyo stocks fell Thursday on news that a U.S.-Japan trade pact was not yet finalised after a meeting between the two countries' leaders and on investor caution before a series of Japanese corporate earnings reports.

The Nikkei share average closed down 1 percent at 14,404.99 while the broader Topix index fell 0.8 percent to 1,164.90 .TOPX, with trading volume slightly below the average in the past month.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open down 0.2 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

TOKYO - The dollar came under pressure against the yen on Friday as rising tension in Ukraine undermined optimism about U.S. economic growth following strong U.S. durable goods data.

The dollar traded at 102.30 yen, near a one-week low of 102.085 hit on Thursday, after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury long bond yields fell for a third straight session on Thursday, as renewed tensions between Ukraine and Russia wiped out earlier gains posted after the release of positive economic numbers.

Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries slipped as well, down for a second consecutive day, as markets failed to nudge them above their 200-day moving average of 2.7271 percent, prompting short-covering.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold was little changed on Friday and held near its weakest level in more than two months following overnight gains in equities, but rising tensions in Ukraine could offer some support.

Spot gold eased 0.06 percent to $1,292.50 an ounce by 0036 GMT. It had dropped to around a 2-1/2 month low of $1,268.24 on Thursday due to firmer equities and a weaker technical picture.

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BASE METALS

SINGAPORE - London copper futures climbed to their highest level in seven weeks on Friday, buoyed by firm demand in top consumer China, while nickel edged off 14-month peaks.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange touched a session high of $6,775 a tonne, its strongest since March 7. It was up $6 at $6,759 by 0114 GMT, after gaining $83 on Thursday.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent crude futures rose by more than a dollar a barrel on Thursday as mutual accusations of aggression by Ukraine and Russia raised concerns over future oil supplies, while strong U.S. economic data suggested higher demand.

Ukraine resumed its operation to disarm pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country and retake their positions, killing five and prompting Russia to launch fresh military drills close to the Ukrainian border.

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