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Global cues indicate positive opening for Indian stocks: Wednesday Market Preview

The steady global economic recovery despite various setbacks has boosted investor sentiment worldwide

Global cues indicate a positive opening for the Indian stock market. The US markets closed with gains in the range of 0.5%-1% on Tuesday while the Asian pack is in the positive zone in early trade today on optimism as Japanese companies resumed production after the devastating earthquake earlier this month. The SGX Nifty was 24 points higher at 5,778 compared to its previous close of 5,754.

Yesterday, the Sensex opened at 18,950, up seven points from its previous close and the Nifty resumed trade unchanged at 5,687. The benchmarks touched the day's lows soon after the opening bell, but resumed their upward move on sustained institutional buying and easing crude prices.

The market continued its northward journey on all-round buying support. The indices touched their day's highs in late trades with the Sensex at 19,226 and the Nifty at 5,770. However, the indices witnessed a marginal retracement from those levels to close in the green for the sixth consecutive day. The Sensex closed at 19,121, a gain of 178 points, and the Nifty settled 49 points higher at 5,736. The Sensex has added 1,282 points in this financial year-end rally that began on 22nd March and the Nifty has put on 372 points in the period.

We expect the uptrend to be halting from the current level, but the market has "turned buy on dips" as long as 17,800 on the Sensex and 5,350 on the Nifty are not breached. The real test of the market will be after Thursday, 31st March, when not only will the derivatives of the March series be settled, but the financial year will come to an end. There is an incentive to keep the prices up until then.

Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday on gains in telecom and energy companies even as investors gear up for economic news like unemployment and manufacturing data, to be released later this week. Home Depot surged 2.9% after the home-improvement retailer announced plans to repurchase $1 billion worth of its shares through a share-buyback program. Chevron gained 1.3% while Halliburton rose 2.3% after saying it expects to step up its activity in Saudi Arabia’s Manifa project following talks with the operator. Halliburton added that the geopolitical turmoil would knock three or four cents a share off its first-quarter earnings.

In economic news, US single family home prices fell for the seventh straight month in January, bringing prices to just above April 2009 lows. The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas declined 0.2% in the month from December. Prices in the 20 cities have fallen 3.1% year-over-year compared to 3.2% expected. Meanwhile, US consumer confidence fell in March after hitting a three-year high in the previous month. The Conference Board’ index of consumer attitudes fell to 63.4 in March from a revised 72.0 in February, as expectations about jobs and income growth worsened.

The Dow surged 81.13 points (0.67%) to 12,279.01. The S&P 500 gained 9.25 points (0.71%) to 1,319.44 and the Nasdaq advanced 26.21 points (0.96%) to 2,756.89.

Optimism from Japan on news that Japanese have resumed production after a devastating earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country early this month. Besides, Japan’s industrial output rose 0.4% in February, the fourth straight month of increases. The government said that although output has been showing signs of picking up, the effect of the earthquake must be watched. Other markets in the region were boosted by the positive closing of the US markets overnight.

The Hang Seng surged 1.20%, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.44%, the KLSE Composite was up 0.54%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.22%, the Straits Times was up 0.63%, the Seoul Composite gained 0.67% and the Taiwan Weighted rose 0.61%. Bucking the trend, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.17% in early trade.

Back home, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said emerging economies, including India, could legitimately impose capital controls in response to surges in capital flows. Stimulus infusion by developed nations to tide-over global financial meltdown resulted in huge capital flows to emerging markets which offered better returns. However, the surge has also led to problems such as currency appreciation and erosion of export competitiveness.

Foreign fund flows into Indian capital market including debt was to the tune of $39.4 billion, while equities alone attracted investment of $29.3 billion during 2010.

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