Indian shares are seen opening little changed on Friday as investors look forward to first-quarter GDP data due today for directional cues. Meanwhile, the Central Statistics Office has sharply downgraded GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2008/09 to 3.5 percent from earlier estimates of 5.9 percent, raising serious doubts about the current state of the domestic economy and adding an extra degree of uncertainty for policymakers.
Global cues remain subdued as weak industrial output data from Japan and South Korea added to recent signs the global economy is weakening.
At the annual Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers later today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may reinforce the case for more action, but it is unlikely that he will announce anything that dramatically increase the chances of the Fed launching another round of bond buying.
Amid watered-down expectations, investors now look forward to the ECB meeting on the 6th September and the Fed's September 12-13 policy meeting for clues to monetary policy.
Indian shares rose on Thursday, reversing early declines in the wake of weak global cues amid doubts on the Fed's willingness to embark on a further round of quantitative easing. With financial and IT stocks witnessing some late-session buying due to F&O expiry, the benchmark 30-share Sensex ended the session up about 51 points or 0.29 percent at 17,542, while the broader Nifty index rose by 27 points or 0.52 percent to 5,316.
In corporate news, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers has unveiled plans to expand the capacity of urea at Thal by setting up one single stream ammonia plant of capacity 2,200 MTPD and one single stream urea plant of capacity 3,850 MTPD at the existing site.
Elgi Equipments has strengthened its international presence by acquiring 100 percent stake in Italian firm Rotair.
UltraTech Cement said it would spend Rs 12,000 crore to raise its production capacity to 62 million tons by FY14.
Most Asian stocks are declining as investors exercise caution ahead of Bernanke's remarks at the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole symposium later in the day.
U.S. stocks ended notably lower overnight, with uncertainty ahead of Bernanke's speech contributing to the weakness. Further selling pressure was generated by a report which quoted Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as saying that his government will delay deciding whether to seek a sovereign bailout until the aid conditions are clear.
On the economic front, jobless claims unexpectedly came in unchanged in the week ended August 25, while a separate report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income and spending rose by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively in July, in line with economist estimates. The Dow and the S&P 500 slid about 0.8 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.1 percent.
European stocks also ended lower on Thursday after official data showed confidence among euro-zone consumers and businesses fell to its lowest level in three years in August. France's CAC 40 index lost a percent, the German DAX retreated 1.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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