Indian shares are seen opening slightly higher on Thursday after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned that the continued failure to reach political consensus on crucial reforms had become a "national security" problem. In a speech marking Independence Day, he forecast economic growth of more than 6.5 percent in the current fiscal year even as many global agencies projected a bearish outlook.
Indian shares rose modestly on Tuesday after government data showed the headline inflation reached a 32-month low in July, although doubts persist over whether the RBI will cut rates at its September meeting.
The benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session up 95 points or 0.54 percent at 17,728, while the broader Nifty index rose by 32 points or 0.61 percent to 5,380. The markets were closed on Wednesday for the Independence Day holiday.
Shares of state-run oil retailers could be in focus after the Prime Minister virtually ruled out diesel price deregulation for now, citing a lack of political consensus and the need to enhance subsidies to farmers in drought-affected areas.
According to media reports, Maruti Suzuki India is likely to make an announcement on resuming partial production at its violence-hit Manesar plant today.
Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals said it swung to a net loss of Rs 54 crore in the first quarter ended June compared with a profit of Rs 17 crore in the corresponding period last year, hit by higher input costs coupled with lower price realizations in key products.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram will meet heads of PSU banks on Saturday to deliberate on ways to improve asset quality and boost credit to agriculture and the infrastructure sectors, a PTI report says.
Separately, in a move to avoid concentration of credit risk, the Reserve Bank of India has issued draft guidelines limiting the exposure of banks to their group companies.
State-run lender Union Bank of India raised $350 million via a five-year dollar-denominated bonds issue.
Asian markets are trading mixed, as traders react to inconclusive economic data from the United States. Losses, if any, are limited due to hopes for policy action after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said easing inflation allows more room to adjust monetary policy.
U.S. And European Markets
U.S. stocks turned in another lackluster performance overnight, extending the sideways move seen over the past week, with a mixed batch of economic data on regional manufacturing, industrial production, homebuilder confidence and consumer prices weighing on the markets. The Dow and the S&P 500 edged down about 0.1 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose half a percent.
The major European averages ended mostly lower on Wednesday after reports suggested that Greece will seek a two-year extension of its austerity program agreement with its lenders. The German DAX slid 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost half a percent, while the German DAX edged down marginally.
Meanwhile, policymakers of the Bank of England dropped a reference to interest-rate cuts and more cash stimulus as they voted unanimously to maintain quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion early this month, the minutes of the August meeting revealed Wednesday. The meeting was held on August 1 and 2.
by RTT Staff Writer
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