India Morning Call-Global Markets

Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:14pm EDT

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EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 just missing a record close, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting gave investors reason to believe that the central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59.54 points, or 0.35 percent, to end at 16,979.13. The S&P 500 gained 4.91 points, or 0.25 percent, to finish at 1,986.51. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.03 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 4,526.48.

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LONDON - Britain's top share index retreated from a three-week high on Wednesday, halting a five-day winning streak, with companies trading without the attraction of their latest dividend putting pressure on the broader market.

The benchmark index closed down 0.4 percent, or 23.83 points, at 6,755.48 points after gaining for five days in a row and climbing to its highest since late July a day earlier.

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TOKYO - Japanese stocks rose to a three-week high on Thursday morning, clocking gains for the ninth consecutive day, as the weaker yen shored up exporters after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's July meeting raised the risk of an earlier rate hike.

The Nikkei share average climbed 1.0 percent to 15,601.99 in midmorning trade, the highest level since August 1.

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

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The U.S. dollar traded at 11-month highs against a basket of major currencies early on Thursday, having been given a second wind after minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting sounded slightly hawkish.

The dollar index, still basking in the afterglow of Tuesday's upbeat U.S. housing data, climbed as far as 82.358, reaching a high not seen since early September.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury yields rose to one-week highs on Wednesday after minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting said the central bank was surprised at the U.S. labor market's quick progress, suggesting a rate increase would come sooner rather than later.

Yields on U.S. long government debt advanced for a third straight session, which may reflect investors' overall comfort with the pace of the U.S. recovery. It could also mean investors are booking profits amid a searing government bond rally this year.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold extended losses to a fifth session on Thursday to trade near a two-week low after the U.S. dollar strengthened on indications from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates sooner than expected.

Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,289.66 an ounce by 0020 GMT, after hitting a two-week low of $1,287.83 in the previous session.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper was steady on Thursday just above $7,000 a tonne which it touched in the previous session on encouraging signs from the U.S. economy and ahead of a key China factory data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded flat at $7009.75 a tonne by 0058 GMT, pausing for breath after climbing 2.1 percent the session before, when it hit the highest in eight days at $7027.50 a tonne.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Brent edged down toward $102 a barrel on Thursday, near the 14-month low hit earlier this week, as concerns over excess oil supply and slowing demand weighed on prices.

Brent crude LCOc1 for October dropped 24 cents to $102.04 a barrel by 0252 GMT after posting a 72-cent gain in the previous session.

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