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Stocks and Bonds: World


US stocks fell on Tuesday after a weak auto sales report pulled the Dow and S&P back from their latest records and the Nasdaq dipped below 5,000 the day after scaling the milestone level for the first time in 15 years. Investors exercised caution after a strong run for major indexes in February and ahead of a slew of economic data later this week, culminating with the monthly payrolls report.

The Nasdaq on Monday closed above 5,000 for the first time since the year 2000 bubble as tech stocks were boosted by deals, while the S&P 500 and Dow indexes hit records after economic data pointed to a slowly accelerating economy. After oscillating around it for much of the day, the Nasdaq composite index gained steam in the late afternoon to finish firmly above the milestone it last reached on March 27 2000, marking only the third time the index closed above 5,000.
Tokyo stocks closed flat Tuesday on profit-taking after several days of gains, while Sharp tumbled on a report that said the struggling electronics maker is seeking aid from its key lenders and may close some money-losing units. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 0.06 percent, or 11.72 points, to end at 18,815.16, while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.12 percent, or 1.86 points, to 1,526.83.
Britain's bluechip share index gave up early gains for a third straight session on Tuesday and dropped back from record highs as prospects for a takeover of Smith & Nephew dimmed and its shares slumped. Smith and Nephew fell 5.7 percent to 1,144p after US firm Stryker announced a $2 billion share buyback programme, making it increasingly unlikely it would consider a bid for the UK medical equipment firm, traders said.
European stock markets slipped from multi-year highs on Tuesday, pegged back by falls in French environment company Veolia and British bank Barclays. Traders said the pullback was relatively minor, given a strong run since the start of 2015 that has seen a major regional index rise 13 percent. Better-than-expected German retail sales data also kept the German stock market near record highs.
India's broader NSE index rose to a record high on Tuesday, led by gains in Reliance Industries after CLSA said the conglomerate could report a record profit for the fourth quarter. The 50-share index rose as much as 0.58 pct to 9,008.40, surpassing its previous record of 8,996.60 hit on January 30. Hopes India's weightage in MSCI indexes would increase due to the government's proposal to merge foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment limits, also underpinned sentiment.
Sri Lankan stocks fell to a three-week closing low on Tuesday and marked their third straight session of losses due to a rise in market interest rates. The central bank raised yields on treasury bills between 86 basis points and 91 basis points at a weekly auction on Tuesday. It scrapped a lower repo penalty rate of 5 percent from Monday, five months after it adopted the measure to boost credit growth.
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Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,203.37 0.47
Arrow Nasdaq 4,979.90 0.56
Arrow S&P 2,107.78 0.45
Arrow FTSE 6,889.13 0.74
Arrow DAX 11,280.36 1.14
Arrow CAC-40 4,869.25 0.98
Arrow Nikkei 18,815.16 0.06
Arrow H.Seng 24,702.78 0.74
Arrow Sensex 29,593.73 0.46

ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $15.944 bln