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Gap-down opening for Indian market likely: Friday Market Preview

Escalation of violence in Libya and protests in Saudi Arabia, along with weak economic indicators, are pulling global markets lower

With global markets under pressure on tensions escalating in Libya and Saudi Arabia and economic worries, the domestic market is likely to witness a gap-down opening today. Libyan forces continued their attacks on oil facilities following which the International Energy Agency stated that oil infrastructure in the country have been damaged. Besides, Saudi Arabia getting tough with protestors also increased worries about crude prices.

The US markets closed at their weakest since January on account of these developments and negative economic data. Global worries also pulled down market in Asia in early trade on Friday. The SGX Nifty fell 50.50 points at 5,458 compared to its previous close of 5,508.50.

The government will announce industrial output numbers for January, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), today. Industrial production growth slowed down to a 22-month low of 1.6% in December 2010 from an upwardly revised growth of 3.6% recorded in November 2010. Analysts expect the numbers for January to be marginally better the previous month.

Implications of the effects of spiralling crude prices on interest rates resulted in profit booking, pulling the market down on Thursday. Concerns over the escalating violence in Libya and weak economic news across Asia also put pressure on the market. Trade was range-bound and the indices stayed in the negative zone through the day. Even a fall in the food inflation figure for the week ended 26th February failed to enthuse investors.

The Sensex and the Nifty traded below Wednesday’s closing figures, tracking weak markets across Asia. Within an hour of opening, the benchmarks hit their intra-day lows of 18,261 and 5,468. The Sensex fell 142 points to close at 18,328 and the Nifty fell 37 points to 5,494. The market is still directionless with a strong possibility of breaking down.

Markets in the US ended almost 2% lower on global worries and weak economic indicators. Libyan forces targeted oil installations in the country and Saudi Arabia getting tough with protestors is expected to put fresh pressures on oil, derailing the pace of growth across the globe. Moody’s downgrade of Spain’s credit rating following downgrade of Greece’s credit rating last week indicates that the European debt crisis is still a concern.

In US economic news, applications for initial unemployment claims rose by 26,000 to 397,000 in the week ended 5th March, more than what analysts had expected. Separately, the Commerce Department said the trade deficit in goods and services rose 15% to $46.3 billion in January as a surge in imports led by costlier oil overshadowed record exports.

The Dow tumbled 228.48 points (1.87%) to settle at 11,984.61. The S&P 500 declined 24.91 points (1.89%) to close at 1,295.11 and the Nasdaq fell 50.70 points (1.84%) to finish at 2,701.02.

Markets in Asia were in the red in early trade on Friday on global weakness arising from the escalating violence in West Asia and Middle East, the biggest crude supplying region. Besides, weak economic data from the US and concerns about the European debt crisis following a downgrade of Spain’s credit rating also weighed on investors.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.02%, the Hang Seng declined 0.87%, the Jakarta Composite slipped 0.97%, the KLSE Composite was down 0.99%, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.83%, the Straits Times was down 0.95%, the Seoul Composite tumbled 1.29% and the Taiwan Weighted tanked 1.19% in early trade.

Back home, the government has reportedly sent a show-cause notice to Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) asking to explain why its licences in Delhi and Mumbai circles should not be cancelled for missing roll-out obligations. The move comes after the telecom ministry collected over Rs300 crore financial penalty from most of the new operators, including Etisalat DB, for not starting services in stipulated time after getting the licences and spectrum.

Sources further said that DoT may send similar notices other new operators, who have missed the deadline for rolling services even after 52 weeks of getting spectrum.

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