March 24, 2014 / 3:01 AM / 3 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, as investors booked profits in momentum names heading into the weekend, wiping out early gains that had pushed the S&P 500 to an intraday record high.

The S&P 500 lost momentum after hitting an all-time intraday high of 1,883.97, with biotechs among the primary decliners. Biogen Idec Inc, down 8.2 percent at $318.53, and Gilead Sciences Inc, down 4.6 percent at $72.07, were the two biggest drags on the S&P 500. The Nasdaq biotech index fell 4.4 percent. For a full report, double click on

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LONDON - Britain's top share index managed to snap a streak of three straight weekly losses on Friday as mining stocks rose on hopes that China, the world's top metals consumer, would take more steps to stimulate its economy.

Mining shares, down some 10 percent from a late February peak and dogged by worries over the pace of Chinese growth, advanced 1.2 percent, building on a 0.6 percent rise on Thursday.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average climbed on Monday morning, bouncing off from a six-week low on the back of a tentative recovery in risk appetite, though concerns about the Japanese economic outlook kept gains in check.

The benchmark Nikkei average rose 1.8 percent to 14,484.06 by the midday break, after a market holiday on Friday. It was still below its 200-day moving average near 14,505..

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index set to open up 1 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - Major currencies got off to a lacklustre start on Monday following a relatively uneventful weekend with the dollar holding onto most of last week's solid gains.

The dollar index stood at 80.130, little changed from late New York levels on Friday, but still not far off a three-week peak of 80.354 set on Thursday.

Investors snapped up the greenback last week as they swiftly brought forward the risk of a U.S. interest rate hike early in 2015 after new Fed Chair Janet Yellen surprised markets by raising the prospect of such a move.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries prices rose on Friday and the gap between short and long-dated bonds hit its lowest level in eight months as investors continued to evaluate the possibility the Federal Reserve will increase benchmark rates sooner than had been expected.

The yield curve has flattened since Wednesday, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank could raise rates six months after its current bond-buying program ends. The spread between two-year note- and 30-year bond yields narrowed to 317 basis points on Friday, the tightest since July.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold edged lower on Monday after posting its biggest weekly drop since November on the prospect of a U.S. interest rate hike in early 2015, denting the metal's appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Spot gold eased $2.25 an ounce to $1,331.69 by 0026 GMT. U.S. gold was at $1,332.60 an ounce, down $3.40.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper slipped on Monday after growth in China's factories slowed for a fifth month, while worries about the health of its credit markets also clouded the demand outlook.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.8 percent to $6,429.75 a tonne by 0138 GMT, erasing small gains from the previous session.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Crude oil futures rose on Friday as fresh U.S. and European sanctions on Russia renewed fears of a supply disruption from the world's second largest oil producer.

The European Union imposed sanctions against the Russian deputy prime minister, two aides to President Vladimir Putin and nine others on Friday, adding to the nearly two dozen prominent Russians Washington sanctioned on Thursday, including Gennady Timchenko, co-founder of oil trading firm Gunvor.

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