March 18, 2018 / 9:17 PM / in 10 months

UPDATE 1-Asia Morning Call-Global Markets

    March 19 (Reuters) - 
 Stock Markets                  Net Chng    Stock Markets                    Net Chng
 S&P/ASX 200**   5,949.40       28.60       NZX 50              8,498.20     21.12
 DJIA**          24,946.51      72.85       NIKKEI**            21,676.51    -127.44
 Nasdaq**        7,481.741      0.247       FTSE**              7,164.14     24.38
 S&P 500**       2,752.01       4.68        Hang Seng**         31,501.97    -39.13
 SPI 200 Fut     5,974          27.00       STI**               3,512.14     -5.59
 SSEC**          3,270.3896     -20.72      KOSPI**             2,493.97     1.59
 Bonds                          Net Chng    Bonds                            Net Chng
 JP 10 YR Bond   0.035          -0.003      KR 10 YR Bond       2.715        0.003
 AU 10 YR Bond   2.72           0.028       US 10 YR Bond       2.8445       0
 NZ 10 YR Bond   2.855          -0.05       US 30 YR Bond       3.077        0
 Currencies                     Net Chng                                     Net Chng
 SGD US$         1.3185         0.0009      KRW US$             1,069.8      0.27
 AUD US$         0.7717         0.0004      NZD US$             0.722        0.0005
 EUR US$         1.2287         0           Yen US$             105.92       -0.08
 THB US$         31.22          -0.01       PHP US$             51.9         -0.24
 IDR US$         13,745         0           INR US$             64.98        0
 MYR US$         3.907          -0.011      TWD US$             29.231       0.031
 CNY US$         6.329          0.0098      HKD US$             7.8433       0.0003
 Commodities                    Net Chng                                     Net Chng
 Spot Gold       1,313          -2.86       Silver (Lon)        16.3         -0.07
 U.S. Gold Fut   1,312.3        0           Brent Crude         66.21        0
 Iron Ore        CNY472         -12         TRJCRB Index        -            -
 TOCOM Rubber    JPY191.1       -0.7        LME Copper          6,889.5      -30.5
    ** indicates closing price 
    All prices as of 21:05 GMT

    GLOBAL - Oil prices finished the week at a gain after a big Friday rally, and U.S.
stock indices ended flat-to-higher, to close a bumpy week on a high note.
    Crude prices had been on track for a weekly loss, but spiked on Friday as energy
investors looked to cover short bets ahead of a televised interview Sunday by the U.S.
news program "60 Minutes" with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    NEW YORK - The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials rose on Friday, boosted by strong
industrial output numbers, though all three of Wall Street's major indexes posted
losses for the week.
    Energy led the major sectors of the S&P 500 with a 1.0 percent gain, as oil
prices CLc1 rose 1.7 percent. 
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    LONDON - European shares rose on Friday, led by NEX Group as it jumped after a
takeover offer, but stocks ended the week with a slight loss as worries about a trade
war and geopolitical tensions kept investors on edge.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.24 percent at 377.79 points
and lost 0.1 percent on the week.
    For a full report, click on

    - - - -
    TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei share average slipped on Friday in choppy trade as concerns
about U.S. political uncertainty sapped investors' risk appetite, although the index
managed to post weekly gains.
    The Nikkei ended 0.6 percent lower at 21,676.51 after it briefly flirted in
positive territory in early trade. For the week, the benchmark index gained 1.0
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    SHANGHAI - China stocks fell on Friday and ended the week lower, dragged by
consumer and material firms, as reports of more chaos in the Trump administration added
to concerns about rising U.S. protectionism.
    At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.6 percent at
3,269.88, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.96 percent to 4,056.42.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    AUSTRALIA - Australian shares are expected to open higher, with financials leading
the gains, helped by U.S. stocks that ended higher last week and a jump in oil prices. 
    The local share price index futures rose 0.5 percent, or 27 points, to
5.974, a 24.6-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The
benchmark ended 0.5 percent up on Friday.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    SEOUL - South Korea's KOSPI stock index rose on Friday as foreign buying
helped recoup early losses.
    At 06:32 GMT, the KOSPI was up 1.59 points or 0.06 percent at 2,493.97. The index
ended the week with a 1.4 percent gain.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -

    NEW YORK - The dollar rose against most currencies on Friday, bolstered by solid
U.S. economic data that further supported consensus expectations that the Federal
Reserve will raise interest rates at next week's monetary policy meeting.
    U.S. industrial production surged in February, boosted by strong increases in
output at factories and mines, while a consumer sentiment survey by the University of
Michigan showed a rise in the overall index for March. 
    For a full report, click on

    - - - -
    CHINA - China's yuan eased against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after a weaker
official midpoint fixing that reflected gains by the greenback, but the Chinese
currency remained on course for a winning week.
    Prior to the market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint
rate at 6.3340 per dollar, 199 pips or 0.3 percent weaker than the previous
fix of 6.3141.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    AUSTRALIA - The Australian and New Zealand dollars were under pressure on Friday as
a fresh bout of risk aversion gripped market, in part due to concerns about a global
trade war and rapid-fire changes in top White House staff.
    The Aussie dollar slipped further to $0.7784, after shedding 1 percent
overnight, a major turnaround from a $0.7916 peak earlier in the week.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    SEOUL - The Korean won was marginally weaker against the dollar on Friday while
bond yields rose.
    The won was quoted at 1,066.2 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform
, 0.08 percent weaker than its previous close at 1,065.4. The currency has
edged up 0.3 percent on a weekly basis.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    NEW YORK - Yields rose on Friday after data showed U.S. industrial production
surged in February and in anticipation of next week's Federal Open Market Committee
meeting, at which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the
first time this year.
    Industrial production jumped 1.1 percent last month, the largest increase in four
months. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index also rose in March to the
highest level since 2004.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    LONDON - Southern Europe led a fall in euro zone bond yields on Friday after
another European Central Bank policymaker warned that inflation in the bloc remained
sluggish, a potential hurdle to the withdrawal of monetary stimulus.
    Portugal's 10-year bond yield fell to a seven-week low, while Italian yields were
at their lowest in around five weeks.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    TOKYO - Japanese government bond prices edged up on Friday, supported by the Bank
of Japan's regular debt-buying operation and struggling equities.
    The benchmark 10-year JGB yield fell half a basis point to 0.035
percent and the 40-year yield also declined half a basis point, to 0.890
    For a full report, click on

    Gold prices dipped on Friday and were set for their biggest weekly fall in three
weeks on pressure from a stronger U.S. dollar and expectations that the U.S. Federal
Reserve will raise interest rates next week for the first time this year.
    Losses were limited by political tumult in the United States which fueled
safe-haven demand for bullion.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    Shanghai steel futures dropped on Friday as Chinese producers ramp up output with
the lifting of winter curbs aimed at fighting smog.
    China shut down up to half of its steel production during winter in 28 cities in
the country's manufacturing heartland in the north as part of an anti-pollution
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    Copper hit a one-week low on Friday as the dollar recovered and concerns lingered
that U.S. tariffs could provoke a trade war, though hopes for strong growth in China
kept losses in check.
    The dollar recovered its losses versus a currency basket while Wall Street ticked
higher after data showed strong U.S. factory output and improving consumer sentiment,
though concerns lingered over turmoil in the U.S. government.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
    Oil prices jumped on Friday, with Brent crude futures hitting their highest in more
than two weeks as U.S. stock prices rose and investors covered short bets ahead of a
weekend in which the U.S. news program "60 Minutes" will air an interview with Saudi
Arabia's crown prince.
    Brent futures rose $1.09 to settle at $66.21 a barrel, a 1.7 percent gain.
During the session, Brent hit $66.42, its highest since Feb. 28.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
     Malaysian palm oil futures fell 1 percent on Friday, ending four straight days of
gains on forecasts for rising production in March.
    The benchmark palm oil contract for June delivery on the Bursa Malaysia
Derivatives Exchange was down 1 percent at 2,416 ringgit ($618.38) a tonne at the end
of the trading day.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -
     Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures ended down 1.7 percent on Friday, coming under
pressure from a stronger yen and weak Shanghai futures amid concerns over rising
    Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) futures, which set the tone for rubber prices in
Southeast Asia, have been getting little support from the ongoing curbs in exports by a
group of three of the world's top natural rubber producers, as stockpiles in Japan
climbed to a more than three-year high.
    For a full report, click on
    - - - -

 (Bengaluru Bureau; +91 80 6749 1130)
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