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Brent crude for June delivery settled $2.52 higher to $123.85 a barrel while spot gold climbed as much as 0.3% to an all-time high of $1,506.32 an ounce
The local market is likely to open higher as good earnings reports boosted markets worldwide. Wall Street closed at multi-year highs overnight on earnings optimism, defying critics who have been suggesting that a correction is due. Positive sentiments boosted investor appetite in Asia as markets in the region were in the green in early trade on Thursday. The SGX Nifty was at 5,909, up 35 points from its previous close of 5,874. Most markets across the world will be closed for trade tomorrow on account of Good Friday, making it a holiday-shortened week.
In India, the government will release the weekly food inflation data around noon. Besides, Hindustan Zinc, Jindal Steel, Nestle India, Raymond, Reliance Industries and TCS, among others will announce their quarterly numbers today.
Pinning its hopes on the government's forecast of a normal monsoon this year and taking a cue from early gains in the Asian markets, the Indian bourses opened higher yesterday. The Sensex added 122 points to its previous close, to resume trade at 19,274, and the Nifty gained 45 points to open at 5,786. The indices were range-bound in the morning session, but profit-booking led the indices to the day's lows at around 1.10pm. At their intra-day lows, the Sensex was at 19,171 and the Nifty stood at 5,760.
Taking support from positive earnings reports announced by corporates during the day, and inflows from institutional investors, the market was on a higher trajectory and closed near the day's high. The Sensex settled at 19,471 with a gain of 349 points, and the Nifty closed 111 points up at 5,852, suggesting the gains could continue for a day or two.
Markets in the US closed in the green on good corporate earnings reports. Computer chips maker Intel late on Tuesday issued a strong forecast, pushing its stock 7.8% higher. After the market close on Wednesday, Apple released earnings that topped analysts’ revenue and profit estimates. The stock surged 4.2% in after-hours trading, adding to the day's 1.4% advance.
Web portal major Yahoo! Inc jumped 4.7%, United Technologies Corp gained 4.3% after lifting the lower end of its sales forecast. Alcoa Inc and Chevron Corp added at least 1.2% as commodity prices advanced amid a weaker US dollar.
In economy news, sales of previously owned homes rose 3.7% in March to an annual rate of 5.10 million units after an upwardly revised 4.92 million unit pace in February. Sales have now risen in six of the past eight months.
The Dow surged 186.79 points (1.52%) to 12,453.54, the highest close since June 2008. The S&P 500 rose 17.74 points (1.35%) to 1,330.36, its best performance in a month and the Nasdaq gained 57.54 points (2.10%) to 2,802.51, its best percentage gain since October 2010.
Buoyed by the optimism in the US, markets in Asia were in the green in early trade on Thursday, indicating that the economic recovery on a growth trajectory. Higher commodity prices supported gains in China while technology shares aided the
Seoul Composite index.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.37%, the Hang Seng rose 0.98%, the Jakarta Composite climbed 0.25%, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.58%, the Straits Times surged 0.85%, the Seoul Composite jumped 1.38% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 1.64. On the other hand, the KLSE Composite lost 0.03%.
In commodity news, Brent crude for June delivery settled $2.52 higher to $123.85 a barrel, after touching an intra-day high of $124.23. US June crude gained $3.17 a barrel to settle at $111.45 a barrel, the highest since 18th April, when US crude posted its steepest close of 2011 at $112.79.
Spot gold climbed as much as 0.3% to an all-time high of $1,506.32 an ounce in Singapore on Thursday. The metal has risen to a record every day since April 15. Bullion futures for June delivery traded at $1,504.30 an ounce, near a record $1,506.50.
Back home, the income tax department will soon post 10 of its officers in tax haven nations to collect information about alleged tax evasion by Indians from these countries, an official in the finance ministry said.
Concerns have been raised in the recent past over suspicion of round tripping or routing of Indians' illicit money back into the country through tax havens.