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Indian stocks to open in positive: Friday Market Preview

Corporate earnings and global cues to support the gains

The local market is likely to add to the gains accrued yesterday and open in the positive on good global cues and a mixed bag of earnings. While Sensex heavyweight Tata Motors announced better-than-expected earning driven by domestic and international sales, others like Aban Offshore and Tech Mahindra disappointed the street.

On the global front, US markets closed higher for the second day running as consumer discretionary and technology stocks offset weak economic data. Markets in Asia were mixed after opening higher, weighed down by a strengthening yen against the dollar and concerns about European debt issues. The SGX Nifty was 18.50 points higher at 5,414.50 from its previous close of 5,396.

Yesterday the market traded above Wednesday’s close from the start, tracking a firming trend on the bourses across Asia. The Sensex and Nifty opened at 17,917 and 5,373 respectively. Good earnings by Tata Steel and Coal India that came in after the market closed on Thursday also assisted early gains. Support also came from metals, oil & gas and banking sectors in the early session.

There was a small decline in the first hour of trade, which is when the indices registered the day's lows. But the market overcame this and resumed its upward movement. A 1.04 percentage point rise in the weekly food inflation numbers for mid-May contributed to nervousness around noon.

In the last hour, short-covering and news that the government may decide on Cairn Energy's stake sale to Vedanta Resources helped the Nifty to cross the first support level of 5,400 and close above that level. The next resistance is at 5,470. The intra-day highs by the Sensex and Nifty were 18,073 and 5,422 respectively. The Sensex rose 197 points to close at 18,045 and the Nifty closed 63 points up at 5,412.

Wall Street closed in the green on Thursday as investors brushed aside economic worries and put their bets on consumer discretionary and technology stocks. Jewellery retailer Tiffany jumped 8.6% after raising its full-year earnings forecast as profit beat estimates. NetApp Incorporated surged 6.9% as the data-management company forecast earnings that topped projections. Microsoft Corporation gained 2% as Greenlight Capital Incorporated president David Einhorn called for the company’s board to replace chief executive officer Steve Ballmer.

In economic news, US GDP grew at a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter, lower than analysts estimates for a 2.2% increase. Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 424,000 in the week ended 21st May 21, worse than economists had expected.

Earlier in the day, stocks extended declines on Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker’s remarks that the International Monetary Fund may not release its portion of a 12 billion-euro ($17 billion) aid payment to Greece next month. Mr Juncker heads the group of euro-area finance ministers.

The Dow added 8.10 points (0.07%) to 12,402.76. The S&P 500 gained 5.22 points (0.40%) to 1,325.69 and the Nasdaq climbed 21.54 points (0.78%) to 2,782.92.

Markets in Asia, which opened higher, were mixed on a strengthening yen that hurt the outlook for export-oriented companies. Also, Japan's core consumer prices rose in April as the March earthquake hurt consumption. Core consumer prices, which include oil products but exclude volatile prices of fresh food products, rose 0.6% from April 2010, marking the first rise since December 2008. Lingering debt issues in Europe also troubled investors in the region.

The Hang Seng gained 0.31%, the KLSE Composite advanced 0.35%, the Straits Times climbed 0.59%, the Seoul Composite surged 0.62% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.48%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.42%, the Jakarta Composite fell by 0.14% and the Nikkei 225 declined 0.24%.

Back home, Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday said it will probe alleged irregularities in subscription of shares of sponge iron producer Vaswani Industries and investigation will be completed within 30 days.

SEBI, on 13th May, had withheld the listing of the company’s IPO following complaints by about 100 investors alleging large-scale withdrawal and rejections in the issue.

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