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Markets likely to open lower tracking global cues

Markets are likely to open lower tracking weak Asian cues. The early indicator, SGX is trading at 8,440 down 27 points.

Benchmark indices are expected to consolidate gains this week and investors would take cues from earnings with Infosys kicking off the December-quarter result season on Friday. 

Data for UK construction purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for December will be unveiled on Monday, followed by the ISM Services PMI data for the US on Tuesday. US nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate data are also scheduled for release later in the week.

On the global front, the euro hit a nearly nine-year low versus the dollar on Monday as investors bet on quantitative easing by the European Central Bank while Asian shares were subdued as soft manufacturing surveys soured the mood.

The euro fell to as low as $ 1.18605, its weakest level since March 2006, having fallen below an important support at $ 1.20. The common currency last traded at $ 1.1944, down 0.5 percent from late U.S. trade on Friday.

US stocks closed little changed on Friday in the first trading session of 2015, finishing well off session highs as economic data short-circuited early gains.

In a sign of tepid economic conditions, construction spending unexpectedly fell 0.3% in November, while the pace of growth in the US manufacturing sector slipped to a six-month low in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 9.92 points, or 0.06%, to 17,832.99, the S&P 500 lost 0.7 points, or 0.03%, to 2,058.2 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.24 points, or 0.2%, to 4,726.81

STOCKS TO WATCH

Tata Chemicals Limited, which is set to launch the Rs 50-crore nutraceuticals manufacturing facility shortly, plans to introduce retail products in this category in future.

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has said it is in the final stages of taking over land and forming a joint venture for an LNG terminal project at Ennore in Tamil Nadu.

Central Bank of India is in the process of raising Rs 660 crore through conversion of perpetual non-cumulative preference shares (PNCPS) held by the government into equity shares.

VA Tech Wabag Ltd has bagged a Rs 220-crore order for works under the Ganga Action Plan project.

Banking stocks would remain in focus amidst hopes of announcement of some positive news at the conclusion of two-day session on Saturday.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Saturday termed the level of bad assets in the system as “unacceptable” and promised more autonomy for state-run banks

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