Plus   Neg

Indian Shares To Extend Gains; Union Budget Key

Indian shares may open higher on Thursday, extending the previous session's rebound, supported by firm global cues. With the Economic Survey raising the growth projection for next fiscal and simultaneously lowering the inflation target, investors wait to see whether the government will reduce borrowing in the next fiscal. It is expected that Finance Minister P Chidambaram will make some announcements for infrastructure development to boost the sagging economy.

Indian shares rose notably on Wednesday, helped by short-covering in heavyweight stocks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled the Fed will stick to its easy monetary policy for a long time and the pre-Budget Economic Survey projected an optimistic 6.1 to 6.7 percent growth for the next fiscal, saying the "downturn is more or less over". The benchmark BSE Sensex rebounded from a three-month low to end the session up 137 points or 0.72 percent at 19,152, while the broader Nifty index rose by 36 points or 0.62 percent to 5,797.

The rupee hit an over two-week high at one point before paring gains to end up 23 paise at 53.86 against the dollar on the back of encouraging Economic Survey, which called for measures to contain current account deficit and fiscal deficit.

Asian Markets

Asian stocks are trading higher across the board, as Italy's bond auction results and better-than-estimated U.S. economic data bolstered investor confidence in the global economic recovery. Japan's Nikkei index is rallying 1.7 percent after data showed the nation's industrial output rose for a second month in January, adding to evidence that the export-reliance economy is pulling out of a mild recession.

South Korea's Kospi average is adding 0.8 percent even as data showed the country's industrial output shrank unexpectedly in January from the prior month. Benchmark indexes in Australia, China, Hong Kong and New Zealand are gaining between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent.

U.S. And European Markets

U.S. stocks saw further upside overnight, as investors cheered a pair of upbeat reports on durable goods orders and pending home sales. Also, delivering his second consecutive day of Congressional testimony, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reaffirmed his support for maintaining the Fed's highly accommodative monetary policy. The Dow and the S&P 500 jumped about 1.3 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added a percent.

European stocks rebounded from the previous session's sell-off after economic reports from both sides of the Atlantic beat estimates and Rome conducted a successful auction of long-term debt, easing fears that the political deadlock could destabilize Europe as a whole. France's CAC 40 rallied 1.9 percent, the German DAX added a percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.9 percent and Switzerland's SMI gained half a percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Follow RTT