March 12, 2014 / 3:11 AM / 4 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, March 12 (Reuters) -

EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, with selling picking up late in the session, as investors cashed in some of the recent market gains, but the S&P 500 finished less than 1 percent away from a record high set last week.

Indexes had swung between gains and losses in the first half of the session, as the lack of major corporate earnings or market-affecting data kept trading directionless, but they closed near the day’s lows.

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LONDON - Britain’s top share index steadied on Tuesday after hitting a three-week low, with some investors seeing value in beaten-down stocks, although the market remained vulnerable to further declines in the near term.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.06 percent lower at 6,685.52 points after falling to 6,660.59, its lowest since the middle of February. It fell in the previous two sessions on lingering tensions between Ukraine and Russia and on concerns about China’s economic growth.

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TOKYO - Japan’s Nikkei share average slid more than 2 percent on Wednesday as investors locked in profits after a recent rally to a five-week high, while a stronger yen hit overall sentiment and dragged down exporters like Toyota Motor.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open down 1.1 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The yen held onto gains early on Wednesday while investors kept their distance from risk currencies such as the Australian dollar amid worries about China’s economic health and following a late fall on Wall Street.

An absence of major economic data and fresh market-moving news saw traders take their cue from stock market moves, although the euro was briefly unsettled after a European Central Bank official warned the bank could still ease if needed.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasuries prices edged higher on Tuesday, with concern about geopolitical tensions in Russia and Ukraine and weakness in China’s economy spurring some demand for safe-haven bonds.

With diplomacy at a standstill in Ukraine, the acting president announced formation of a volunteer national guard, while ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich insisted he remained the legitimate leader.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold held on to overnight gains on Wednesday to trade near its highest in four months, as global uncertainty over economic growth and tensions in Ukraine burnished the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Shanghai copper fell by its five percent daily limit on Wednesday and London copper touched a 44-month low, as fears grew that credit-linked defaults in China could unlock copper from financing deals and unleash further selling.

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OIL

NEW YORK - U.S. crude oil prices fell below $100 per barrel for the first time in a month as the potential for more Chinese corporate bond defaults and rising crude stocks in the United States raised concerns about the growth of oil demand.

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