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Indian stock market to see flat-to-positive opening: Wednesday Market Preview

A retreat in oil prices and steady global markets, coupled with the end to the stand-off between the Congress and the DMK, is expected to provide some direction to the market

The local market is likely to witness a flat-to-positive opening as the political situation at the Centre has cooled with the Congress and the DMK reaching a compromise on the seat-sharing issue for the forthcoming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. Besides, easing of crude prices and upbeat global markets is also expected to provide some support back here.

Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday booted by banking stocks and a retreat in crude prices from 29-month highs. Tracking the US markets, the Asian pack was in the green in early trade today. The gains were also supported by an increase in Japanese machinery orders in January. The SGX Nifty was up 22 points at 5,559 against its previous close of 5,537.

Resuming its upmove after a day's pause, the Indian market opened with modest gains yesterday as the political situation at the Centre showed signs of easing. However, profit booking at higher levels resulted in the market giving up some gains. Trading was range-bound, with no big trigger to guide the indices. But a fresh bout of buying in the last hour lifted the indices to the day's highs, and the indices closed near those levels. 

The market made up more than half the losses suffered on Monday. The Sensex and Nifty opened with a positive gap at 18,277 and 5,466, respectively, which were the lows of the day. After the initial gains, the market was lack-lustre throughout the day. Towards the end of the day, the benchmarks hit intra-day highs of 18,467 and 5,531, respectively. The Sensex closed 217 points up at 18,440, while the Nifty ended 58 points up at 5,521.

The US markets closed higher overnight on a surge in banking stocks and a retreat in oil prices. Bank of America’s chief executive Brian Moynihan expressed optimism that the bank would be able to earn between $35 billion and $40 billion a year in pre-tax earnings when the business normalizes, increase dividends and go in for share buybacks. The development pushed stocks of Bank of America, American Express, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo higher.

This apart easing of crude prices from 29-month highs also supported investor sentiments. Reports of more countries assuring to increase production to offset any supply disruptions pushed oil lower. Brent crude slipped nearly 2% at $113.06 a barrel after Kuwaiti oil minister said OPEC was in discussions to increase production.

The Dow surged 124.58 points (1.03%) to 12,214.61. The S&P 500 rose 11.69 points (0.89%) to 1,321.82 and the Nasdaq gained 20.14 points (0.73%) to 2,765.77.

Tracking their US counterparts, markets in Asia were in positive territory in early trade on Wednesday. Easing of crude prices and a rise in Japanese machinery orders also aided the gains. Speculations of a military intervention to defuse the Libyan conflict and OPEC mulling to increase production eased crude prices. Meanwhile, Japan’s core machinery orders jumped 4.2% in January, compared to a 1.7% rise in December, beating analysts’ expectations.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.21%, the Hang Seng advanced 0.74%, the Jakarta Composite rose 0.65%, the KLSE Composite gained 0.40%, the Nikkei 225 surged 1.03%, the Seoul Composite added 0.25% and the Taiwan Weighted was 0.67% higher in early trade. On the other hand, the Straits times declined 0.16%.

Back home, the government on Tuesday slashed the minimum export price (MEP) for onion, for the second time this month, to $350 per tonne from $450 per tonne earlier.

Last month, the government had lifted ban on onion exports after farmers protested a crash in domestic prices. It, however, capped the MEP at a higher level of $600 per tonne as a precautionary measure to control local prices, which had shot up to Rs70-Rs80 per kg in December last year.
 

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