Tuesday’s Market Preview: Flat-to-positive start in Sensex and Nifty

The local market is likely to witness a flat-to-positive opening today, tracking global cues. The US markets closed with modest gains overnight on positive economic data, brushing aside worries arising from the Egyptian crisis. The Asian pack was in the positive territory in early trade on Tuesday on improved earnings outlook and higher commodity prices, which boosted commodity-related shares. The SGX Nifty was up 0.50 points at 5,525 from its earlier close of 5,524.50.

The market opened with a deep cut yesterday, worried that the strife in Egypt could have global repercussions, impacting trade and commerce. Analysts opined that early losses in the domestic market were the result of offloading of funds by foreign investors. However, after 2.30pm, strong buying took the Nifty into the positive territory (the day's high was 5,527). The Sensex closed 68 down at 18,328 while the Nifty was down six at 5,506. The Sensex is making lower highs and making new lows, but this spell will be broken soon.

Markets in the US closed with modest gains on Monday on the back of positive economic data and earnings numbers. Consumer spending rose more-than-expected in December. Purchases, accounting for about 70% of the economy, increased 0.7% after climbing 0.3% in the previous month, Commerce Department figures showed. Incomes increased for a third month, and the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation advanced at the slowest pace on record. 

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc said its business barometer rose to 68.8 in January. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. Economists had predicted that the measure would slip to 64.5.

Brent crude, which crossed $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008, boosted energy companies. Exxon gained 2.1% as the company posted its fourth consecutive quarterly profit increase as burgeoning energy demand boosted oil and fuel prices. Massey Energy jumped 9.8%, after Alpha Natural Resources said it had entered into a pact to buy the rival coal company for $7.1 billion in cash and stock. However Intel Corporation closed flat after cutting its first-quarter revenue forecast by $300 million due to costs for correcting a design flaw in one of its chips.

The Dow advanced 68.23 points (0.58%) to 11,891.93. The S&P 500 gained 9.78 points (0.77%) to 1,286.12 and the Nasdaq rose 13.19 points (0.49%) to 2,700.08.

Spurred by the economic optimism in the US, markets in Asia were seen with modest gains in early trade on Tuesday. Higher commodity prices supported commodity-related stocks in the region. Meanwhile, China’s factories witnessed a marginal decline in January following monetary tightening measures, but input prices rose quickly, keeping the pressure on the government to tackle inflation despite easing growth.

The official purchasing managers’ index fell to 52.9 in January from 53.9 in December, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on Tuesday. The reading was the lowest in five months and below analysts’ forecast. On the other hand, input prices jumped to 69.3 from 66.7 in December, suggesting that inflationary pressure was still on the rise. Besides, good earnings reports from Honda and Hitachi supported the Japanese market.

The Hang Seng gained 0.21%, the Jakarta Composite surged 0.95%, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.34%, the Straits Times rose 0.45%, the Seoul Composite advanced 0.59% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.47%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.05% in early trade.

Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange ended up $1.59, or 1.6%, at $101.01 a barrel on Monday, the highest settlement since 26th September 2008. The Brent contract was the first major benchmark to break the key $100-a-barrel threshold in more than two years. Light, sweet crude for March delivery closed up $2.85, or 3.2%, at $92.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since 3rd October 2008.

Back home, the government’s fiscal deficit narrowed by 44.75% year-on-year to Rs1.71 lakh crore during the first three quarters of the current fiscal on the back of better-than-expected revenue from the sale of spectrum and robust tax collections. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs3.10 lakh crore in the corresponding period FY10.

The sharp fall in the fiscal deficit was also due to the fact that despite the enhanced flows to the central exchequer, there was not a commensurate increase in government’s expenditure and the RBI has blamed this for the present cash crunch in the system.


Govt will insist on solution to BlackBerry Enterprise Mail: Chidambaram

BlackBerry had been given time till 31st January to give a solution to the real time interception of its enterprise mail, but sources indicated that it could be extended by another fortnight or a month

New Delhi: The government today said it will "insist" that Canadian-manufacturer of Blackberry provides solution to intercept enterprise mail, the deadline for which ends today, reports PTI.

Noting that a decision would be taken soon on whether to allow BlackBerry Enterprise Mail or not, home minister P Chidambaram said he expected that Research-In-Motion (RIM), manufacturer of the smart phones, would be able to find some solution.

"I think a decision will be taken today by the ministry of home affairs and the telecom ministry. I am not yet been briefed on the development in the last few days.

"As I said, like they have given us a solution to the messenger service, we will insist that they give us the solution for the enterprise service too," Mr Chidambaram told reporters after presenting monthly report of his ministry.

BlackBerry had been given time till today to give a solution to the real time interception of its enterprise mail, but sources indicated that it could be extended by another fortnight or a month.

The comments from the minister came in the backdrop of BlackBerry makers saying that providing solution to access its enterprise mail service is "not possible" and asserting that the issue was not unique to them and has to be dealt at an industry level.

"There is no possibility of us providing any kind of a solution. There is no solution, there are no keys to be handed...It's not possible to do so because the keys of the service are in possession of the corporate enterprises," RIM vice-president (industry, government and university relations) Robert E Crow had said earlier.

Security agencies have been demanding access to all BlackBerry services as part of the efforts to fight militancy and security threats over the Internet and through telephone communications.

RIM encrypts emails as they travel between a BlackBerry device and its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).

Earlier this month, RIM had said that it has delivered the technology to monitor contents on its messenger service (BBM) and had asked the government to issue a directive to the operators to connect to its new automated service.

This new service will automatically render lawfully intercepted BlackBerry Messenger messages in a format readable by Indian agencies.


Govt approves Rs8,000 crore subsidy to oil firms in Q3

While, petrol prices were freed from government control in June, state oil firms continue to sell diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government ruled prices, which is substantially lower than the cost of production

New Delhi: The government today approved Rs8,000 crore in cash subsidy to state-owned fuel retailers to make up for half of the revenues they lost on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost in the third quarter, reports PTI.

"Finance ministry has issued a letter approving Rs8,000 crore in cash compensation for the October-December quarter," an oil ministry official said.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation's largest fuel retailer, will get Rs4,442.45 crore, Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) Rs1,809.85 crore and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) Rs1,747.70 crore.

The three companies had last week postponed announcing their third quarter financial results in anticipation of the government subsidy announcement, without which they would have posted losses.

The official said IOC, BPCL and HPCL lost a shade less than Rs16,000 crore revenue on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below their imported cost.

Of this, upstream firms Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Oil India (OIL) and GAIL India made up Rs5,198 crore by way of discounts on crude oil and petroleum products they sell to the three retailers. ONGC chipped in Rs4,222 crore, OIL Rs558 crore and GAIL Rs418 crore.

The subsidy approved today is less than the Rs10,000 crore compensation that the oil ministry was seeking.

"For the first six months, the finance ministry had previously approved Rs13,000 crore and now with today's Rs 8,000 crore, the total subsidy from the government so far this fiscal is Rs21,000 crore," the official said.

IOC, which was expected to announce third quarter results on 25th January, has now scheduled its board meeting on 10th February.

Similarly, BPCL has postponed the 31st January board meeting for the third quarter results to 9th February while HPCL put off its 27th January meet to 11th February.

While, petrol prices were freed from government control in June, state oil firms continue to sell diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government ruled prices, which is substantially lower than the cost of production.

IOC, BPCL and HPCL currently lose Rs6.80 per litre on diesel, Rs18.66 per litre on kerosene and Rs366 per 14.2-kg LPG cylinder.


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