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Stocks and Bonds: World


US stocks were little changed on Thursday, in the wake of two days of declines on the S&P 500, as economic data did little to alter expectations on the timing of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Initial jobless claims rose to 320,000 in the latest week, above the 295,000 estimate and 313,000 in the prior week. The disappointing claims numbers come after a weaker-than-expected private payrolls report on Wednesday and ahead of Friday's monthly employment report.

US stocks closed down on Wednesday for the second day in a row as investors stepped back after a recent rally ahead of jobs data due later in the week. Healthcare stocks were the only bright spot in the market after a US Supreme Court hearing and a cancer drug approval.
Tokyo stocks rose 0.26 percent on Thursday, with profit taking more than offset by fresh buying on expectations of higher prices ahead. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 48.24 points to close at 18,751.84, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.44 percent, or 6.71 points, at 1,523.72.
Britain's top share index approached record highs again on Thursday, lifted by a rally in insurance stocks such as Aviva after positive results in the sector. The blue chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.6 percent at 6,961.14 points, near the 6,974.26 record it set this month.
European shares reached their highest in more than seven years on Thursday, boosted by encouraging comments from the European Central Bank and by strong results from supermarket Carrefour and fund manager Schroders.
Indian shares edged up on Thursday in a volatile session as consumer and healthcare stocks such as Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose with investors favouring defensive bets, though losses in telecoms and banks capped gains. Shares fell short of record highs hit on Wednesday. The NSE index gained 1.05 percent this week, marked by the disclosure of a historic agreement introducing inflation targeting to India and an unexpected interest rate cut by the central bank.
China's main stock indexes fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday as investors dumped blue chip shares such as banks and real estate firms on worries about the slowing economy. But Shenzhen's Nasdaq-style ChiNext, which tracks high-growth start-ups, closed at a record high, in a sign that money is shifting into small caps.
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Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,135.72 0.21
Arrow Nasdaq 4,982.81 0.32
Arrow S&P 2,101.04 0.12
Arrow FTSE 6,961.14 0.6
Arrow DAX 11,504.01 1.00
Arrow CAC-40 4,963.51 0.94
Arrow Nikkei 18,751.84 0.26
Arrow H.Seng 24,193.04 1.11
Arrow Sensex 29,448.95 0.23

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 $16.137 bln