India Morning Call-Global Markets

Thu May 15, 2014 10:28pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, giving the Dow and the S&P 500 their worst declines in more than a month, as small-cap shares extended their retreat and Wal-Mart results disappointed.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 0.7 percent, well off its session low where it hit correction territory, down more than 10 percent from its early March record close of 1,208.65. It ended down 9.3 percent from that high.

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LONDON - Britain's top shares dropped on Thursday, led down by airlines, as investors bet on a period of consolidation for the FTSE 100 after it reached a 14-year high earlier in the day.

Profit-taking continued for shares of British Airways owner IAG and easyJet. Both airlines have jumped around 40 percent in the last 12 months, and investors have been cashing in the gains.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average dropped on Thursday after a stronger yen hurt sentiment, while Sony Corp and Credit Saison Co weighed as foreign investors unloaded the stocks after their earnings disappointed the market.

The Nikkei ended down 0.8 percent at 14,298.21.

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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 was back in familiar territory against the dollar early on Friday, having staged a surprisingly strong rebound from a 2-1/2 month trough as investors booked profits on bearish positions ahead of the weekend.

The common currency stood at $1.3714 after closing nearly flat in New York. It had fallen as far as $1.3648 in response to data showing the euro zone grew much less than expected at the start of the year.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - Benchmark U.S. Treasuries yields fell to six-month lows on Thursday in heavy volume after Greek government bonds weakened and sparked safety buying of U.S. debt, even though U.S. economic data pointed overall to a firming economy.

The size of the rally provoked head scratching by many analysts trying to pinpoint the exact impetus for the move, with a large amount of short-covering seen exacerbating the fall in yields.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold struggled below $1,300 an ounce on Friday as U.S. jobs and factory data indicated brighter prospects for the economy, hurting the metal's appeal as an investment hedge.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,296.30 an ounce by 0021 GMT, after dropping 0.7 percent on Thursday. The metal is still up 0.6 percent for the week on earlier gains on Ukraine tensions.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Nickel prices steadied on Friday, finding their feet after a six percent fall partly eroded this year's stellar rally, while copper prices eyed their biggest weekly gain in nearly two months on improving demand.

Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) traded little changed at $18,770 a tonne on Friday, having slumped more than 6 percent on Thursday, erasing much of May's spectacular gains. Nickel is still up 35 percent this year..

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OIL

NEW YORK - Front-month Brent crude futures rose and went off the board on Thursday at the highest settlement since March, while U.S. futures fell, snapping a string of three straight higher settlements.

While concerns about the crisis in Ukraine and a tightening global oil market continued to support oil futures and helped June Brent finish higher, Brent for delivery in nearby months fell on pressure from news of returning Libya supply.

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