Global Markets for April 25 , 2014 …

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Asian stocks struggled to rise, as the impact of upbeat U.S. economic data and robust U.S. tech shares faced off against fears of an escalating Ukraine crisis that bolstered the safe-haven yen.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a few ticks higher in early trade, while Japan’s Nikkei stock average skidded 0.5 percent as disappointment over a failed attempt to reach a U.S.-Japan trade pact weighed on sentiment.

Core consumer prices in Tokyo, a leading indicator of nationwide inflation, rose 2.7 percent in April from a year earlier, a hair shy of forecasts. But it was still the fastest gain since 1992 as a national sales tax hike drove up prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dropped 0.1% to close Wednesday’s trading session at 16,501.65. The Standard & Poor (S&P 500) declined 0.2% to finish at 1,875.39. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.8% to 4,126.97.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) went up 0.6% to settle at 13.27. Total volume for the day was roughly 5.67 billion shares, lower than this month’s average of 6.65 billion. Advancing stocks were outnumbered by declining stocks on the NYSE. For 47% stocks that advanced, 50% declined.

The European unit was supported by an improvement in a German business sentiment index, which indicated that Europe’s largest economy managed to overcome the rising Ukraine tensions.
In the commodities front, spot gold XAU= was slightly lower at $1,293.09 an ounce after earlier touching its lowest levels since February, though fears about the Ukraine crisis limited losses.

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