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Indian Shares Set To Extend Gains; Infosys Results Eyed

Indian shares are seen opening higher on Friday, extending the previous session's gains, as data showing an uptick in U.S. jobless claims fed hopes that the Federal Reserve will embark on another round of quantitative easing.

Asian markets followed Wall Street higher, as speculation about additional bond purchases known as quantitative easing and reports that North Korea's rocket launch may have failed boosted investor sentiment. However, commodities are retreating, with copper and crude losing around half a percent each in Asian trading, after data showed China's GDP growth slowed more than forecast in the first quarter.

The gross domestic product expanded 8.1 percent year-over-year in the first three months of 2012, faster than the fourth quarter's 8.9 percent increase, but slightly lower than the 8.4 percent gain that economists were looking for.

Closer home, investors await Infosys results due in a few minutes from now for directional cues. Additionally, March inflation numbers due to be released a day before the monetary policy meet next week are crucial as they would have a bearing on monetary policy announcement.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty rose 0.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively on Thursday, as easing concerns over Europe's debt crisis helped investors shrug off domestic data showing slower-than-expected industrial output growth.

Provisional data released by BSE shows that foreign institutional investors turned net buyers in Indian equities and bought shares worth Rs.135.98 crore yesterday, while domestic financial institutions bought shares to the extent of Rs.237.40 crore.

U.S. stocks rose sharply on Thursday, extending the previous session's rebound, as renewed optimism about the possibility of further quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve and a report from the Commerce Department showing a narrower than expected U.S. trade deficit outweighed disappointing jobless claims data. The Dow and the S&P 500 rose around 1.4 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.3 percent.

Internet giant Google Inc. said after the markets closed that its first quarter profit rose 61 percent from last year, helped by strong demand for its search advertising. The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also breezed past Wall Street expectations.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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