September 18, 2014 / 3:02 AM / 3 years ago

India Morning Call-Global Markets

EQUITIES

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks edged higher in volatile trading on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time" and repeated concerns over slack in the labor market, standing firm against calls to overhaul its policy statement.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.88 points, or 0.15 percent, to 17,156.85, the S&P 500 gained 2.59 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,001.57 and the Nasdaq Composite was added 9.43 points, or 0.21 percent, to 4,562.19.

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LONDON - Britain's top share index slipped and underperformed gains on rival European bourses on Wednesday, as the uncertainty raised by Scotland's vote on independence pegged back the UK stock market.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.2 percent, or 11.34 points, at 6,780.90 points.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average soared to a new eight-month high on Thursday morning, with yen weakness giving exporters a boost amid further confirmation of a stronger U.S. economy.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.1 percent to 16,063.19 in mid-morning trade after climbing as high as 16,067.41, its highest since early January.

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HONG KONG - Hang Seng Index is trading 0.8 percent down.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

SYDNEY - The dollar rose to its highest in over four years against a basket of currencies on Thursday after the Federal Reserve's guidance on interest rates highlighted the diverging pathways between the United States and other rich nations.

The dollar index surged to 84.814, reaching a high not seen since July 2010, and bringing into view its 2010 peak of 88.708. It last traded at 84.782.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury debt prices fell on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept in place near-zero interest rates and other ultra-loose U.S. monetary policies meant to boost economic growth.

After surrendering early gains spurred by unexpectedly tame U.S. inflation data, Treasury prices turned negative as Fed policymakers issued economic assessments and a policy statement after a two-day meeting in Washington.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

SINGAPORE - Gold tumbled to its lowest in 8-1/2 months on Thursday as the dollar index traded near a four-year peak after the Federal Reserve signalled that a faster hike in U.S. interest rates might be on the horizon.

Spot gold fell to $1,216.01 an ounce early on Thursday, its lowest since Jan. 2, before paring some losses to trade at $1,222.26 by 0038 GMT. The metal lost nearly 1 percent the day before.

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BASE METALS

SYDNEY - London copper slipped on Thursday after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed U.S. interest rates would stay low in the short term but suggested hikes may follow more quickly when they do arrive, pushing up the dollar and cutting the price of commodities.

The U.S. central bank on Wednesday renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time", but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving.

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OIL

NEW YORK - Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday after a government report showed crude stocks rose sharply in the United States last week and as a strong dollar continued to create headwinds for dollar-denominated commodities.

Brent November crude slipped 8 cents to settle at $98.97 a barrel, recovering from an intraday low of $98.51.

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