November 20, 2014 / 2:47 AM / 3 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting gave investors few new clues as to when U.S. interest rates may rise.

The S&P 500 snapped a four-day run of gains and a two-day streak of record closing highs.

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LONDON - Britain's main equity index snapped a four-day rally on Wednesday as falling iron ore prices hit mining stocks and trading updates from Royal Mail and testing firm Intertek disappointed investors.

Hit by its heavy weighting in commodity-related stocks, the FTSE 100 underperformed European peers, dropping 12.53 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,696.60.

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TOKYO - Japanese stocks edged up on Thursday as a further weakening of the yen boosted market sentiment.

The Nikkei benchmark added 0.2 percent to 17,318.85 by 0142 GMT, not far from a seven-year high scaled last week.

"A huge chunk of Japanese corporate profits come from overseas, and with the weak yen, investors are rushing to buy today," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc. in Tokyo.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index is up 0.27 percent.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The yen slid on Thursday, striking seven-year lows against the dollar and a six-year trough versus the euro as speculators poured into carry trades funded by a tide of super-cheap liquidity from the Bank of Japan.

The dollar romped as far as 118.09 yen, up over a full yen in 24 hours and almost 10 yen since the BOJ sprang its surprise stimulus steps on the market at the end of October.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - The U.S. bond market's gauges of inflation expectations fell to their lowest in more than a month on Wednesday after minutes of the Federal Reserve's October meeting suggested the U.S. central bank remained on track to raise interest rates next year.

The record of the Oct. 28-29 meeting suggested many participants thought the Federal Open Market Committee should remain on guard for signs of a drop in long-term inflation expectations, but many on the Fed's policy-setting group reckoned the U.S. economy will gradual achieve its 2 percent inflation target.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold struggled to recover from overnight losses on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's optimism over the U.S. economy boosted the dollar, and a poll showed softer support for a Swiss referendum that would have forced the central bank to boost gold reserves.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,182.10 an ounce by 0036 GMT, after dropping 1.2 percent in the previous session.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper edged down on Thursday, ahead of a November reading on the health of China's manufacturing sector, while nickel prices were supported by expectations of a supply shortage.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down by 0.1 percent to $6,678 a tonne by 0107 GMT, after small gains in the previous session. Prices have been pinned in a $300 range from around $6,600-$6,900 since mid September.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Oil prices fell for a third straight day on Wednesday, as early gains on talk of a possible OPEC output cut vanished after the Federal Reserve released minutes of last month's policy meeting revealing worries that U.S. inflation could remain below target for "quite some time."

The Fed minutes showed central bankers concerned about the economy's strength but reluctant to issue a statement reflecting too much pessimism.

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Compiled by Abhishek Vishnoi

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