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After positive start, markets likely to remain subdued

Bhagyashree Vivarekar
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Today, the Indian markets are likely to open on a positive note tracking encouraging macroeconomic numbers released yesterday post market hours but may remain subdued on the back of mixed global cues. India’s factory output posted expansion at 7.5 per cent in January on the back of strong manufacturing sector output that cued revival in the economy. On the other hand, retail Inflation fell to 3.38 per cent in February as against 4.58 per cent in January. The SGX Nifty is flat to negative shedding 10 points at 10,422 at 7.34 hours IST.

Majority of Asian benchmarks look cautious on Tuesday ahead of inflation and retail sales data from the US. Higher inflation may lead to quicker policy tightening by the Fed. Dollar and treasury yields dropped, while Japanese yen continued to gain. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 per is down by 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up by 0.2 per cent and Shanghai Composite is trading flat to positive at 7.21 hours IST. 

After an exuberant end on Friday, Monday’s opening was somewhat subdued for the US stock markets. Investors feared that the tighter labour data could lead to hike in wages, thereby fuelling inflation that would pressurise Fed to expedite interest rate hikes. Markets ended mostly lower, barring Nasdaq, which yet again closed at a record high, driven by technology stocks. Nasdaq closed 0.36 per cent up. Dow Jones tumbled 157 points to close at 25179 and S&P500 shed 3.55 points to finish at 2783.  Going forward, the US markets will be driven by the inflation and retail sales numbers due this week.

Positive performances by few heavyweights offset the European investors’ concern over the US tariff hikes and trade wars. Utilities outperformed the markets and other sectors. Overall, markets remained a mixed bag with Germany’s DAX gaining 0.58 per cent, CAC 40 of France finishing flat while the FTSE 100 of UK ending 0.13per cent down.

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