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Indian Shares Seen Little Changed

4/1/2012 11:15 PM ET

Indian shares are seen opening little changed on Monday after state-run oil companies on Saturday decided to defer a decision on increasing petrol prices and asked the Centre to make up for the losses incurred by them for keeping fuel prices below than the actual cost. Meanwhile, the oil companies hiked jet fuel prices by about 3 percent, the third such increase in March.

With Asian markets turning in a mixed performance, investors eagerly look ahead to PMI manufacturing, auto and cement sales data for direction.

Asian stock markets are trading on a mixed note, as investors seem reluctant to make any significant moves on the heels of a mixed batch of U.S. economic data. Manufacturing data from China also offered a mixed snapshot of the nation's slowdown.

In news out of Europe, Eurozone finance ministers have decided to raise the combined size of the region's bailout funds to prevent the possible spillover of the debt crisis in some member states. The ceiling for lending by the European Stability Mechanism and European Financial Stability Facility will be increased to EUR 700 billion, the Eurogroup, which represents euro area finance ministers, said in a statement on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a somewhat lackluster performance on Friday, with a mixed batch of U.S. economic data contributing to the choppy trading. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged down 0.1 percent, the Dow rose half a percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent.

A report from the Commerce Department showed a notable increase in personal spending in February, although personal income rose by less than expected. Another report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed some unexpected improvement in March consumer sentiment, while a reading on March manufacturing activity in the Chicago area came in slightly lower than expected.

by RTT Staff Writer

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