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Indian Shares Seen Higher On Asian Cues; Inflation Data Eyed

Indian shares may open marginally higher on Thursday, tracking firm Asian cues. That said, investors await wholesale price data for January due around noon for clues to whether the RBI will lower its benchmark interest rates in the coming months.

Meanwhile, after eight months of contraction, India's exports grew marginally to $25.58 billion in January, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed. On the earnings front, Aditya Birla Nuvo, CRISIL, DLF, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Gail India, IVRCL, LIC Housing Finance, Parsvnath Developers, SBI, Suzlon Energy and Tata Motors are among companies due to report their quarterly results today.

In corporate news, lenders to ailing Kingfisher Airlines said they had decided to initiate the legal process for recovering outstanding loans of Rs. 7, 500 crore from the grounded airline.

State-owned miner Coal India reported a 9 percent rise in third-quarter consolidated net profit on the back of higher sales.

Iron ore miner NMDC reported a 30 percent decline in quarterly net profit, hurt by lower production and subdued market conditions.

Tata Steel said its losses for the December quarter widened to Rs 763 crore from Rs 603 crore in the year-ago period due to rising costs and decreased demand in Europe.

Kinetic group announced the completion of a restructuring exercise under which its erstwhile two-wheeler business Kinetic Motor has been merged with automotive components arm Kinetic Engineering.

GMR Group has signed a definitive agreement with Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Investments Pte and SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust to divest 74 percent stake in GMR Jadcherla Expressways for Rs 206 crore.

TCS will continue hiring from the campuses across India this year despite low intake of recruits last year, the Hindu Business Line quoted its CEO and MD N. Chandrasekaran as saying.

Indian shares rose modestly on Wednesday, paring early gains, with IT stocks leading the gainers. The benchmark BSE Sensex ended the session up 47 points or 0.24 percent at 19,608, while the broader Nifty index rose by 10 points or 0.18 percent to 5,933.

Asian Markets

Asian stocks are trading broadly higher as investors shrugged off weak GDP data out of Japan and waited for more clues from the G-20 and the Bank of Japan's policy meetings. The Bank of Korea will conclude its monetary policy meeting today, with economists expecting the central bank to keep rates on hold at the current level of 2.75 percent.

Japan's gross domestic product contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report. The headline figure missed forecasts for an increase of 0.1 percent following the downwardly revised 1.0 decline in the third quarter.

U.S. And European Markets

U.S. stocks turned in another lackluster performance overnight after data showed a slight increase in retail sales and traders digested President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Comcast posted a notable gain after the cable company agreed to buy General Electric's entire stake in NBCUniversal joint venture for about $16.7 billion. The Dow shed 0.3 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.1 percent.

European stocks rose for a second day on Wednesday, with the slower pace of decline in Eurozone industrial production and some better-than-expected earnings reports boosting investor sentiment. The German DAX rose 0.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 and the FTSE 100 of the U.K. advanced about 0.3 percent each.

by RTT Staff Writer

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