India Morning Call-Global Markets

Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:46pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday, paring an earlier selloff sparked by reports of Ukraine shelling a Russian armored column.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was lifted by gains in stocks like Gilead and Microsoft.

The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened higher on hopes of easing tensions between the two countries, but came under pressure when Ukraine, contradicting a report from Russia's Defense Ministry, said it had shelled a Russian armoured column.

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LONDON - Britain's top equity index ended the day flat on Friday, erasing earlier gains after news broke of a Ukrainian attack on a Russian convoy, although it held up better than other European share markets.

Major European indexes had traded in positive territory for most of Friday on expectations for continued ultra-loose monetary policy after disappointing U.S. and euro zone data.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei was choppy on Monday morning as geopolitical tensions checked risk appetite, but Chugai Pharmaceutical 4519.T jumped on a media report that Roche Holding AG's <ROG.VX may> be close to sealing a deal to gain full ownership of the Japanese drugmaker.

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co soared 21 percent to a record high as Bloomberg News last Friday reported that Roche is in talks to buy the almost 40 percent stake in the Japanese company that it does not already own for about $10 billion.

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

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - Sterling rose on Monday after the Bank of England indicated that UK interest rates may have to rise even before wage growth recovers, backtracking from earlier comments that prompted markets to push out the risk of a rate hike.

Sterling rose as high as $1.6739, from around $1.6689 late in New York on Friday. It also firmed against the euro, which dipped below 80.00 pence from around 80.23.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. benchmark and long-term Treasuries yields fell to their lowest in over a year on Friday to notch their second straight weekly drop after rising tension between Russia and Ukraine drove safe-haven bids for the debt.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said artillery had destroyed part of a Russian armored column that had crossed into Ukraine during the night.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold extended losses into a second session on Monday, slipping below $1,300 an ounce on technical selling and as equities recovered after an initial sell-off over escalating tensions in Ukraine.

Spot gold had fallen 0.4 percent to $1,299.54 an ounce by 0032 GMT, after dropping 0.6 percent on Friday. U.S. gold GCcv1 fell about $5 to $1,301.

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BASE METALS

LONDON - The price of copper edged higher on Friday as some investors bought back short positions to take profits ahead of the weekend, but gains were capped as a gloomy outlook for the economy in top metals consumer China raised concerns about demand.

Copper has fallen nearly 5 percent since touching a near-five-month peak on July 8 and posted a 1.8 percent fall for this week, its steepest drop in four weeks.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent and U.S. crude futures jumped more than $1 a barrel on Friday on news that Ukraine forces had engaged a Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil.

Ukrainian artillery destroyed a "significant" part of a Russian armored column that crossed into Ukraine during the night, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to the presidential website.

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