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Overnight Markets: US stocks end up on hopes for Russia relief

Overnight Markets: US stocks end up on hopes for Russia relief

Wall Street closed higher on Monday, extending the rally from Friday as investors hoped that Russia's move to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine would ease tensions between the two countries and American airstrikes will push back militants in Iraq.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 16 points, or 0.10%, to end at 16,570, still below its close at the end of 2013. The S&P 500 rose five points, or 0.28%, to finish at 1,937. The Nasdaq Composite added 30 points, or 0.70%, to close at 4,401.

Earlier in the day, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned of a "high probability" that Russia, using the guise of a humanitarian mission, could intervene militarily in Ukraine.

Ukraine has also said that, contrary to Russian reports of de-escalating, Russia has amassed 45,000 troops on its border. Investors did not seem fazed by the reports.

Stocks also rose after the US continued air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq over the weekend and as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed indirect talks mediated by Egypt on Monday.

Consumer staples shares registered the highest gains as the sector's index rose 0.8%, while energy and utilities shares dragged.

Shares of Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N), the biggest US pipeline company, jumped 9% after the company said on Sunday that it would put all its publicly traded units under one roof in a $70 billion deal.

US-listed shares of Canada-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp (TKMR.O) jumped 15.0%. The stock of US-based Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (SRPT.O) gained 7.4%.

Priceline Group Inc (PCLN.O) shares rose 2.2% after the online travel agency reported quarterly revenue rose 26%.

The stock of Chiquita Brands International Inc (CQB.N) surged 30.2% in its biggest one-day advance since its trading debut in 2002. Juice maker Cutrale Group and Brazilian investment firm Safra Group offered to buy Chiquita for $13 per share in cash.

In Asia, shares rose on Tuesday in morning trade amid optimism that geopolitical risks are receding.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3% to 146 as of 10:39 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.5% after the yen fell 0.2% against the dollar yesterday.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.8%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.1%. Markets in Thailand remain closed for a holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.2%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.3%. Taiwan’s Taiex Index fell 0.2%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.5%.

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