Indian shares are likely to open higher on Friday, mirroring positive Asian cues after data showed U.S. jobless claims held at a four-year low and German business confidence exceeded forecasts. The euro rose to a 2-1/2-month high against the dollar before GDP reports from Germany and the UK slated to be released later in the European session.
Having said that, the recent hike in global oil prices is a concern as India imports nearly 80 percent of its oil requirements. The rise in oil prices if sustained may put upward pressure on inflation and limit the scope for further monetary easing.
Crude futures for April delivery rose $1.55, or 1.5 percent to settle at $107.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, its highest closing level since May 5, helped by lingering concerns about possible supply disruptions and a weak dollar.
Indian shares ended in the red for a second day in a row on Thursday, as negative Asian cues prompted investors to square off positions on the settlement day of February series derivative contracts. The benchmark 30-share Sensex moved in the range of 18,005- 18,250 before ending down 67 points or 0.37 percent at 18,079, while the broader Nifty index fell by 22 points or 0.4 percent to 5,483.
U.S. stocks posted modest gains overnight, as better-than-expected data on initial jobless claims overshadowed some disappointing earnings news. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose around 0.4 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.8 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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