Indian equity, forex, money and commodity markets will remain closed today on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Meanwhile, the government will release GDP data for the first quarter ended June 30, 2014 later today.
On Thursday, Sensex extended gains for the sixth straight session and also gained for the seventh straight month, rising the most in May, after the Modi-led NDA government took charge and announced a slew of initiates that helped improve business sentiment and lifted the economy back on the growth track. Further, today was also the expiry of August futures and options contracts.
Both the benchmark share indices ended at record closing highs. The 30-share Sensex gained 78 points at 26,638 mark after hitting a fresh intra-day high of 26,674.38. For the seven months since February 2014, the benchmark index surged nearly 27%. The 50-share Nifty closed higher by 18 points at 7,954 levels.
Foreign institutional investors have been aggressive buyers in Indian equities infusing around Rs 77,684 crore in the past seven months since February and Rs 6,408 crore for this month till August 26, as per regulatory data.
Global firms have revised their GDP estimates upwards on the back of improving economic environment in recent months. Global ratings agency Moody’s raised the first quarter growth estimate to 5.1% from the sub-five levels that has been clocked over the past two years. Moody’s expects the economy to clock 6% growth in 2015.
Sonal Varma and Aman Mohunta of Nomura are even more bullish than Moody’s, predicting Q1 GDP growth to hit 5.9% per cent annually, compared to their initial estimate of 4.7%. Nomura expects GDP growth of 5.5% and 6.7% per cent in FY2015 and FY2016 (4.7% and 6.3% previously).
Barclays and Standard Chartered too have increased their expectation of GDP growth to 6%. Standard Chartered in its reports has attributed the revised numbers to improvement in industrial activity and services sector.
US stocks ended lower on Thursday after emerging tensions between Russia and Ukraine but further downside was capped on the back of encouraging economic data. The second reading of the GDP signaled better-than-expected economic growth while July pending homes sales grew more than expected and claims for unemployment benefits declined for the second straight week. The Dow Jones ended down 0.2% at 17,079.57, the broader S&P 500 ended below the 2,000 mark down 0.2% at 1,996.74 and the tech-laden Nasdaq ended down 0.3% at 4,557.70.
Asian shares were trading mixed tracking losses on Wall Street after investors trimmed positions in riskier assets amid the emerging geopolitical tensions in the West. Shares in Japan were hit on the back of a stronger yen. The benchmark Nikkei was down 0.6% while the Hang Seng and Straits Times were trading marginally lower. However, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%.
Markets will resume trading on Monday with focus on the first quarter GDP numbers and the Supreme Court hearing on the coal block allocations.