Indian policymakers are concerned that high oil prices would stoke inflationary pressures
The Indian stock market is likely to see a cautious opening despite the Asian markets opening higher and the US markets closing higher overnight on hopes that the upcoming results season would be in line with expectations. The SGX Nifty was at 5,578, 27 points higher from its previous close of 5,551. However, analysts expect the local market to be range-bound in the absence of any clarity on the global situation.
Adding to the gains accrued in the previous session, the Indian market opened in the positive terrain on Thursday influenced by optimism in the global arena. The Sensex added 80 points to open at 18,286 and the Nifty was up at 5502, 22 points higher from its previous close. The benchmark indices touched the day's highs in the first half hour itself. The rise in food inflation numbers for the week ended 12th March led to some nervousness but investors shrugged it off and buying continued.
A bit of nervousness was noticed around 1.30pm dragged the indices to their intra-day lows with the Sensex falling to 18,269 and the Nifty at 5,496. Thereafter the market was range-bound till around 3pm. A fresh round of buying in the last half hour resulted in the market closing in the green for the third day in a row. The Sensex closed 145 points higher at 18,350 and the Nifty settled at 5,522, up 42 points higher than its previous close.
Wall Street closed trade on Thursday on hopes that the upcoming earnings season would be in line with expectations. Technology stocks witnessed gains after Micron Technology Inc posted a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ forecasts. The stock jumped 8.4% in trade. Economic and corporate growth has helped the markets stay firm, analysts opined.
US economy news was mixed with durables goods orders contracting in February while initial jobless claims falling last week. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell 0.9% after a 3.6% increase in January. Economists had predicted a 1.1% increase. Initial claims for unemployment benefits slipped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, marginally below economists' expectations for a fall to 383,000.
The Dow advanced 84.54 points (0.70%) to close at 12,170.56. The S&P 500 added 12.12 points (0.93%) to 1,309.66 and the Nasdaq gained 38.12 points (1.41%) to 2,736.42.
Overnight gains in the US markets supported the Asian pack in early trade on Friday with the Jakarta Composite leading the gains so far. Optimism in Japan overshadowed the political crisis in Portugal and the turmoil in West Asia. Meanwhile, experts believe that the
Chinese central bank will continue with its tight monetary policy to curb price rise.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.78%, the Hang Seng was up 0.88%, the Jakarta Composite jumped 2.12%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.24%, the Nikkei 225 was up 1%, the Straits Times advanced 0.69%, the Seoul Composite surged 0.62% and the Taiwan Weighted added 0.34%.
Back home, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said it is “extremely difficult” to predict level of inflation in the wake of uncertainties in West Asia but the government is making efforts to bring it down to “reasonable level”.
However, Mr Mukherjee was more optimistic on growth saying it would be in the range of 9% in 2011-12 despite a likely slowdown in foreign inflows. In his reply to a debate on the Finance Bill 2011, the finance minister said for growth, he was betting on robust domestic savings and rate of investment which is in the range of 36%-37%.
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