MUMBAI: Markets are likely to edge higher on Thursday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a positive opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 49,801.62, down 562.34 points or 1.12%. The Nifty closed at 14,721.30, down 189.15 points or 1.27%.
Asian stocks gained on Thursday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep monetary policy and rates unchanged and projected a rapid jump in US economic growth this year as the covid-19 crisis eases.
While inflation is expected to reach 2.4% this year, above the central bank’s 2% target, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell called it a temporary surge that will not change the Fed’s pledge to keep its benchmark overnight interest rate near zero.
The Fed projected the US economy will grow by 6.5% this year—the largest annual output growth since 1984—thanks in part to massive federal fiscal stimulus and optimism around the success of coronavirus vaccines.
The S&P 500 closed at a record high and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 33,000 points for the first time on Wednesday, bolstered by the Fed’s strong economic forecast and Powell’s comments that it is too early to discuss tapering-off measures.
Future Group, which is locked in a legal battle with Amazon.com Inc., has asked a Singapore arbitration court to remove Future Retail Ltd (FRL) from the scope of its order that temporarily blocked the Kishore Biyani-led group from selling its assets to billionaire Mukesh Ambani. In a modification application on 11 March, Future Group has asked the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) to review its October interim ruling, according to a Mint report.
For the first time since October 2019, Vodafone Idea Ltd added wireless customers in January. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data, Vodafone Idea signed up 1.7 million customers during the month, after losing 55.4 million subscribers since October 2019. Rival Bharti Airtel Ltd led gains, adding 5.9 million users in January, while slowing wireless subscriber growth continued to hit Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s tally. Jio added nearly 2 million customers in January.
Realty firm DLF plans to raise up to ₹500 crore through issue of non-convertible debentures (NCD) to investors. In a regulatory filing, DLF informed that a finance committee, constituted by the board of directors, on Wednesday approved the company’s proposal.
The dollar index dropped 0.5% to 91.405 after the Fed comments. The euro rose 0.7% against the dollar to $1.1978. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.1% to 108.87 yen.
Oil slipped for the fourth day on Wednesday, weighed down by rising US crude inventories and by expectations of weaker demand in Europe, where the vaccine roll out is faltering. Brent crude settled 39 cents, or 0.6% lower, at $68 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 20 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $63.68.
(Reuters contributed to the story)
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