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Indian stocks to open on a cautious note: Monday Market Preview

Concerns about the RBI raising interest rates to rein in prices weigh on the sentiments

The domestic market is likely to open on a cautious note as the possibility of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raising rates once again on Tuesday weigh on investor sentiments. Besides, heavyweights like Reliance Industries, Sterlite Industries, HCL Technologies, among others will announce their quarterly earning numbers today, giving further direction to the market.

On the global front, markets in the US finished mixed on Friday as policymakers are yet to hammer a deal to increase the debt ceiling as the 2nd August deadline approaches. Tracking the debt issues in the US, the Asian pack was trading lower in early trade on Monday. The SGX Nifty was down 26.50 points at 5,615 compared to its previous close of 5,641.50.

The market closed with gains of 1% last week, mainly on some good corporate earnings and on the resolution of the debt problem in Greece, after European leaders approved a second bailout package for the debt-stricken country on Thursday.

Debt problems on both sides of the Atlantic pulled the market lower on Monday. But the global debt issues did not deter investors from pumping in funds into Indian stocks, leading to a higher close on Tuesday. Comments from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that inflation would remain high till December and weak results from IT major Wipro led to a sharp fall on Wednesday.

Concerns that the RBI may hike rates again at its policy review meeting next week and a mixed bag of corporate results, kept the indices in the red for a second consecutive day on Thursday. But the market bounced back on Friday, recovering from the losses of the previous two days.

Overall, the Sensex gained 160 points to close the week at 18,722, and the Nifty finished 53 points higher at 5,634. The market is set on a northward journey with the Nifty likely to go up to 5,700.

The US markets closed mixed on Friday, as concerns loomed over the deadlock on raising the US borrowing limit. Concerns that the US debt ceiling won't be raised before the deadline kept sentiments low, Traders kept close watch on negotiations in Washington over a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling ahead of a 2nd August deadline. The impasse has overshadowed the 17 Eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund 109 billion euros aid package agreed for Greece which sent an optimistic signal across markets across the world.

The Dow declined 43.25 points (0.34%) to 12,681.16. The S&P 500 added 1.22 points (0.09%) to 1,345.02 and the Nasdaq rose 24.40 points (0.86%) to 2,858.83.

Markets in Asia were trailing in early trade on Monday as the impasse among US policymakers to raise the country’s debt ceiling ahead of the 2nd August deadline was seen as hurting the export-driven region. Japan-based Komatsu, the world's second-largest construction machinery maker, fell 2.2% after its US rival Caterpillar disappointed the markets with second-quarter earnings on Friday, sending its shares down nearly 6%. Korean steelmaker Posco fell 1.5% after the world's No.3 steelmaker on Friday warned of weakening demand growth and persistently high input costs in the second half.

The Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng declined 0.60% each, the Jakarta Composite fell 0.59%, the KLSE Composite slipped 0.25%, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.63%, the Straits Times tanked 0.86%, the Seoul Composite slid 0.67% and the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.67% in early trade.

Back home, the industry ministry is looking at revising the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) base year to 2010-11 for computation of inflation index with a view to present more realistic picture of the price situation.

The government, in September 2010, changed the base year for calculating WPI from 1993-94 to 2004-05 to give a better indication of changes in prices of commodities.

The move to revise WPI data would help in narrowing the gap between the provisional and final data and provide more updated inputs necessary for formulation of policies.

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