February 24, 2014 / 3:06 AM / 3 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, Feb 24 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks slipped on Friday on options-related trading, with the S&P 500 facing resistance as it flirts with its record high even as economic data continues to underwhelm.

Shares declined late in the session due in part to trades related to options expiration, according to market participants.

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LONDON - Britain's benchmark share index rose on Friday and posted its steepest weekly gain in seven months, as bid speculation around index heavyweight Vodafone led the market higher.

Mobile operator Vodafone rose 3 percent to 236.50 pence after both BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS called it a potential bid target once it sells its stake in U.S. mobile phone company Verizon Wireless.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei average jumped 2.9 percent on Friday as the weak yen lifted overall sentiment and after a reading on U.S. manufacturing hit its highest in nearly four years.

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HONG KONG - China shares sank to a two-week low early on Monday, dragging Hong Kong markets down, led by property and banking counters as mainland news reports stoked fears that the banks have stopped extending loans to property-related companies.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The euro held steady against the dollar on Monday, retaining its gains made late last week as political unrest in Ukraine showed signs of settling down for the time being.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices inched up on Friday as investors questioned whether a string of weaker-than-expected economic data is due to severe weather affecting activity in the short term or a symptom of a more structural economic slowdown.

Friday's tepid housing sales data kept investors largely sidelined, analysts said. The market shrugged off a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. existing homes sales, which declined by 5.1 percent in January, the National Association of Realtors reported.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold barely moved in early trade on Monday, supported by concerns over the pace of U.S. economic recovery and an increase in holdings on the bullion-backed exchange traded funds.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper fell sharply on Monday to its lowest in more than two weeks as worries about tightening monetary policy in the United States and fragile growth in China hurt the demand outlook for metals.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Oil prices fell on Friday, slightly eroding their sixth straight week of gains, as the fierce U.S. winter weather that has supported heating fuel demand gave way to milder temperatures, triggering a selloff in heating oil.

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