India Morning Call-Global Markets

Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:00pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, boosted by upbeat results from companies including Merck & Co and a rebound in Facebook and other high-growth shares.

Merck & Co's shares climbed 3.6 percent to $58.72, giving the S&P 500 its biggest lift, after it reported stronger-than-expected earnings.

Further deal activity on the healthcare front also lifted the market. Britain's Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc RB.L confirmed talks to buy Merck's consumer health business, the latest asset up for grabs in a wave of recent pharmaceutical deals.

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LONDON - Britain's blue chip shares hit a 7-1/2 week closing high on Tuesday, bolstered by upbeat corporate earnings reports from oil major BP and wealth manager St. James's Place.

BP, up 2.9 percent, contributed most points to the UK benchmark index as it raised its quarterly dividend and said more share buybacks were on the cards. St. James's Place , which said it got off to a strong start in 2014, advanced 2 percent.

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TOKYO - Japanese shares rose on Wednesday, supported by some upbeat domestic earnings guidance and gains in Wall Street shares, with investors looking to the Bank of Japan's ongoing policy meeting.

While few market players think the BOJ will ease its policy on Wednesday, many of them expect stimulus later in the year. They will be scrutinising the BOJ's economic report and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's news conference for any hint on the timing..

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

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The euro nursed broad losses early on Wednesday, having been put under pressure by soft German inflation numbers while the yen stayed on the defensive ahead of a policy decision by the Bank of Japan.

A key measure of German inflation came in at a lower-than-expected 1.1 percent on the year, raising the risk that the euro area reading will also undershoot expectations later in the day.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury prices tumbled for a second straight session on Tuesday, pressured by a brighter U.S. economic outlook, with the Federal Reserve expected to continue reducing its bond purchases and investors bracing for a strong jobs report later this week.

With the world's largest economy seemingly on a stable recovery path, the Fed, which began its two-day meeting on Tuesday, is expected to carry on tapering its asset-buying, a negative scenario for Treasuries. The Fed is also unlikely to alter its forward guidance on interest rates

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold was little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement and key economic data, even as political tensions in Ukraine provided some safe-haven support.

Spot gold was steady at $1,295.20 an ounce by 0024 GMT, after closing flat in the previous session.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper inched higher on Wednesday but remained below recent eight-week peaks, underpinned by tight credit conditions in top consumer China and as volumes fade ahead of a string of economic data and a series of holidays this week.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 had edged up 0.2 percent to $6,722.25 a tonne by 0106 GMT, paring small losses from the previous session.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Oil prices rose on Tuesday as traders refocused on geopolitical risks from an outbreak of violence in Libya to Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

On Monday, oil posted its biggest daily decline in a month, when Libya lifted a force majeure from the eastern Zueitina oil port, raising prospects for rising shipments.

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