Indian stocks likely to open sideways on mixed Asian cues: Friday Market Preview

Analysts have estimated a 25 basis point hike in key interest rates by the RBI next week

The domestic market is likely to open sideways today on mixed cues from the Asian region, following a slower first quarter economic growth in the US. However, markets in the US closed with good gains on upbeat earnings reports. The SGX Nifty was down 16.50 points at 5,794.50 compared to its previous close of 5,811.

The market closed lower on Thursday, for the fourth consecutive day on fears that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hike key rates at its monetary policy meeting next week, following sustained rise in food inflation.

In the morning, positive global cues helped the market open in the green, albeit with marginal gains. The Sensex was 84 points higher at 19,533 and the Nifty resumed trade at 5,851, up 17 points from the previous close. The market scaled to its intra-day high in early trade, with the Sensex at 19,542 and the Nifty at 5,856. But the indices slipped following the announcement of a marginal rise in the weekly food inflation numbers.
The market was choppy throughout the session and the indices touched the day's lows in the last half hour. The Sensex fell by 183 points to 19,266 and the Nifty was down by 57 points to 5,777. The indices closed below their psychological levels; the Sensex declined 157 points to 19,292 and the Nifty fell by 48 points to 5,785.

By the end of trading, the Nifty dropped to below the 5,800 level. The market is now in a downward trend. Immediate support is at 5,750, and further down at 5,700.

US markets closed higher on earnings reports brushing aside mixed economic data. Among the gainers, Boeing surged 3.19%, DuPont rose 2.03%, PepsiCo rose 2.64%, Dow Chemical gained 1.98% and Microsoft advanced 1.25%, while Hewlett-Packard fell 1.24%, Alcoa fell -0.52%, ConocoPhillips fell 2.98%, and Chevron fell 0.15%.

In economic news, US gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter compared with a 3.1% gain in the fourth quarter last year. Initial jobless claims for the week ended 23rd April rose by 25,00 to 429,000, the highest level since January and pending home sales index of contract signings rose 5.1% to 94.1 in March, from 89.5 in February.

The Dow climbed 72.35 points (0.57%) to 12,763.31. The S&P 500 added 4.82 points (0.36%) to 1,360.48 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.65 points (0.09%) to 2,872.53.

Markets in Asia were trading mixed on profit taking after recent gains and news of a slower first quarter economic growth in the US. Though the Chinese market was up, concerns about another rate hike played on investors’ minds.

The Hang Seng was down 0.02%, the KLSE Composite fell by 0.11%, the Straits Times declined 0.14% and the Seoul Composite was down 0.63%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.27%, the Jakarta Composite rose 0.10% and the Taiwan Weighted added 0.06%. The Nikkei 225 is shut for a local holiday.

Back home, claiming that the CBI had “overlooked” the role of Ratan Tata and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, an application has been moved in a Delhi Court seeking further investigation into the matter. The application was placed before Special CBI judge OP Saini who will hear it on 2nd May.

The application filed through counsel SK Singh alleged that Ms Radia played an active role in the grant of licenses to Tata Teleservices.

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CWG Organising Committee orders probe into tampering of vigilance data

The OC maintained that there was no loss of data as the information was also saved on a different computer. It added that the OC was monitoring the CCTV footage and claimed to have zeroed in on to the accused

New Delhi: Suspecting a foul play, Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC) has ordered an internal enquiry to trace those responsible for wiping out crucial vigilance related information from the computer of its Chief Vigilance Officer.

"We have already ordered an internal enquiry into the matter (tampering of computer data). We will take necessary action accordingly," OC chief executive officer Jarnail Singh told PTI.

According to the official, information on the computer of Gurjot Kaur, an Indian Defence Accounts Service Officer, was illegally removed from the system on 24th April.

The information was regarding tenders, correspondences and findings of investigating agencies like CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), CVC (Central Vigilance Commission), CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General), Income Tax (I-T) department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) among others over alleged irregularities in several Games-related projects.

Ms Kaur was appointed in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) organising body last year and was acting as the nodal officer to coordinate with all probing agencies on vigilance matters.

"There were certain files which have been removed. Basically they had information on different correspondences made between different agencies like CVC," Mr Singh said.

However, he maintained, there was no loss of data from the incident as it was alternatively saved on a different computer.

"We have restored the loss data. It was saved with us on a different computer," the CEO said, adding that strict action will be taken against the erring officials.

Mr Singh did not divulge further information. Another senior OC official said that they were monitoring the CCTV footage and claimed to have zeroed in on to the accused.

Meanwhile, the CVC has also taken cognisance of the incident and sought a report from the OC in this regard.

"The incident cites vulnerability of the crucial data at the OC. We have asked the OC to step up measures to check re-occurrence of such things," a CVC official said.

The Games Organising Committee is under attack for many Games-related financial and managerial lapses.

The CBI has registered nine cases on alleged corruption and criminal collusion in Games-related works that caused loss worth crores to the exchequer. It has also arrested sacked OC chief Suresh Kalmadi in one of the cases being probed by it.

The prime minister Manmohan Singh appointed high-level Shunglu Committee has also pointed out several lapses in OC and alleged inadequacies in the works carried out by the Games body for the mega sporting event held here between 3rd and 14th October last year.

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Share prices in a downward trend: Thursday Closing Report

The indices slipped below important levels today. A bullish trend reversal happens above 5,800 on the Nifty

The market closed lower for the fourth consecutive day on fears that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hike key rates at its monetary policy meeting next week, following sustained rise in food inflation.

In the morning, positive global cues helped the market open in the green, albeit with marginal gains. The Sensex was 84 points higher at 19,533 and the Nifty resumed trade at 5,851, up 17 points from the previous close.

The market scaled to its intra-day high in early trade, with the Sensex at 19,542 and the Nifty at 5,856. But the indices slipped following the announcement of a marginal rise in the weekly food inflation numbers. By the end of trading today, the Nifty dropped to below the 5,800 level. The market is now in a downward trend. Immediate support is at 5,750, and further down at 5,700.

The market was choppy throughout the session and the indices touched the day's lows in the last half hour. The Sensex fell by 183 points to 19,266 and the Nifty was down by 57 points to 5,777. The indices closed below their psychological levels; the Sensex declined 157 points to 19,292 and the Nifty fell by 48 points to 5,785. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 532:1123.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index fell by 0.97% and the BSE Small-cap index ended with a loss of 0.48%.

All sectoral gauges were in the red with rate-sensitive ones ending as the top losers. BSE Realty (down 3.03%), BSE Metal (down 1.20%), BSE IT (down 1.12%), BSE Capital Goods (down 1.06%) and BSE TECk (down 0.93%) led the losers.

ONGC (up 1.99%), ICICI Bank (up 0.92%), Bharti Airtel (up 0.56%), Bajaj Auto (up 0.26%) and Sterlite Industries (up 0.14%) were the gainers on the Sensex. Reliance Communications (down 5.13%), Cipla (down 2.77%), DLF (down 2.71%), Hero Honda (down 2.62%) and Jindal Steel (down 2.17%) were the major losers.

Food inflation inched up marginally to 8.76% for the week ended 16th April from 8.74% in the previous week. This is the second consecutive week that the rate of price rise of food items has gone up, after a period of moderation in February and March.

The latest rise, although marginal, will put more pressure on the government, which has described inflation as one of the major challenges facing the economy.

The RBI has said that deregulation of interest rates on savings banks accounts would benefit savers, as it would enable lenders to come out with innovative products to attract more funds from low income households. This was among its observations in a discussion paper on the deregulation of savings rates which it published today.

While the RBI deregulated interest rates on fixed deposit schemes in 1997, it continues to fix the rate on savings deposits. Presently, banks pay interest at the rate of 3.5% on saving accounts, which was fixed in 2003.

Markets in Asia, which opened on a positive note, tracking overnight gains in the US, settled mixed with the Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese bourses closing in the red. Speculations were rife that China might curb property prices over the weekend.

The Bank of Japan, at the end of its policy meeting today, kept its policy rate unchanged in the range of zero to 0.1% and held off on additional monetary easing steps.

The Jakarta Composite rose 0.11%, the KLSE Composite gained 0.35%, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.63%, the Straits Times and the Seoul Composite added 0.07% each. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite tanked 1.29%, the Hang Seng fell by 0.37% and the Taiwan Weighted shed 0.09%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs711.86 crore on Wednesday, whereas domestic institutional investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs299.28 crore.

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