March 7, 2014 / 3:02 AM / 4 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

MUMBAI, March 7 (Reuters) - EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks mostly rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing at yet another record on better-than-expected jobless claims data and the European Central Bank’s move to keep rates unchanged.

But the overall sentiment was cautious ahead of Friday’s all-important U.S. nonfarm payrolls report and tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, ended up 2.3 percent at 14.21. The VIX generally moves inversely to the performance of the S&P 500 and is often used to hedge against a market decline.

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LONDON - Britain’s top share index edged higher on Thursday, buoyed by updates from as Aviva and Aggreko , although lack of action by the European Central Bank and uncertainty over Ukraine capped gains.

British equities tracked euro zone stocks lower, after ECB President Mario Draghi offered no new measures to boost lending in the region. Speculation that he would had boosted European stocks in early trade.

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TOKYO - Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a new five-week high on Friday morning as a weak yen lifted risk appetite following Wall Street’s gains on better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims and the European Central Bank’s decision to keep its rates unchanged.

The Nikkei gained 1.1 percent to 15,307.78, the highest since Jan. 29 after rising 1.6 percent on the previous day. For the week, the index has added 3.1 percent.

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

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The euro hovered near a two-month high against the dollar early on Friday following a relief rally when the European Central Bank left its interest rates unchanged.

Caution ahead of the closely-watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls later in the day was seen capping further gains.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices fell on Thursday as fears over a war in Ukraine abated, helping drive benchmark yields to their highest levels in a week, and as traders prepared for Friday’s key non-farm payrolls report.

Markets await the results from a referendum vote due in 10 days that will decide whether Crimea will become a part of Russia.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold held on to sharp overnight gains on Friday to trade near a four-month high and looked poised to log its fifth straight week of gains as a weaker dollar and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine lifted its safe-haven status.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - Nickel held near nine-month highs on Friday and is on track for its biggest weekly gain since mid-January with supply tightened by Indonesia’s ban on ore exports, while copper steadied on concerns over demand from top consumer China.

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OIL

NEW YORK - U.S. oil rose on Thursday after falling to near three-week lows as traders reconsidered the geopolitical risk posed by worsening diplomatic relations over Russia’s intervention in Crimea.

The American benchmark fell by more than $1 about two hours before the settlement, then reversed losses to end the day higher after comments from U.S. President Barack Obama indicated the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, was not easing as much as traders thought.

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