Stocks in the US closed marginally lower with benchmarks not far from record highs, as investors considered reports that the European Central Bank would consider a broad-based package of quantitative easing in January and awaited the monthly jobs report.
The US labor department reports that fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, with jobless claims falling by 17,000 to 297,000.
Most Asian markets are trading up except the Nikkei. The SGX Nifty in the morning around 8.10 am was trading flat at around 8604, up only 3.50 points, so the Nifty that tracks the SGX Nifty is likely to consolidate today.
Back home, the 30-share BSE Sensex snapped three-day losing streak on Thursday, largely led by banking & financials stocks and index heavyweight ITC. The index gained more than 350 points in early trade to touch a life high of 28808.78 (8,626.95 on the Nifty) but gradually in next half an hour wiped out almost all gains. In last hour of trade, again the index gained strength following upside in global markets on hopes of fiscal stimulus from the European Central Bank.
In Europe, the European Central Bank has voted to leave interest rates at their current record lows across the eurozone. That means the headline rate is pegged at just 0.05 percent while banks are charged deposit rate of negative 0.2 percent to leave money with the ECB overnight. The rates on its marginal lending facility has also been left unchanged at 0.3 percent.
In a speech that followed the statement Mario Draghi hinted that further stimulus measures including QE that involves the purchase of sovereign bonds, might be on the agenda in early 2015. Listen in to those comments
Markets closed lower after ECB president Mario Draghi’s regular press conference revealed that any further monetary easing measures would not be instituted until next year.
In the currency space – the euro trades higher against most of its peers after ECB chief Draghi disappoints. But the currency could struggle to extend gains if US Employment data which is due later in the day re-energizes dollar bulls
In commodities, crude prices fall as the debate for a sustainable price level continued after Saudi Arabia announced deep discounts for the crude it sells to Asian and US buyers in an apparent attempt to defend its market share.
From precious metals space – gold prices hover around USD 1200 an ounce as the euro rebounded against the dollar.
For the Indian markets, some of the stocks that are likely to be in news today are Sai l, Axis Bank, Mangalore Chemicals, NMDC. Sail because of the OFS. The government today kicks off the disinvestment drive.
Axis Bank has raised Rs 5,705 cr in long-term infra bonds for a 10-yr period
Mangalore Chemicals because Adventz Group makes fresh open offer for the company. Also Adventz arms Zuari Fertilizer, Zuari Agro announce fresh open offer. Zuari will make an open offer for 25.90% stake at Rs 91.92 per share.
NMDC would also be in news today because it has cuts its December iron ore lumps prices by Rs 200 to Rs 4,200 per million tonne and has cut December iron ore fines prices by Rs 00 to Rs 3,060 per million tonne.