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Sensex, Nifty flat; rail stcks dip ahead of Prabhu’s speech

09:15

The News International Team

9:50 am Market outlook: Global investors are bullish on India, but there is a growing feeling that the recovery in the economy could get delayed to the end of next fiscal, says IIFL’s Sandeepa Arora.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, she says bulk of the investments is happening in sectors like banking and IT. She says investors are wary of taking a big exposure to high beta stocks.

Arora expects the upcoming Union Budget to kickstart the investment cycle in the country. She is hopeful that the Budget will focus on reviving infrastructure growth, besides spelling guidelines for recapitalization of PSU banks.

Another expectation of the market is that the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) being extended to food and fertilisers.

9:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Bharti Infratel is down 4.5 percent as Bharti Airtel is planning to sell shares in the tower company. Bharti Airtel is looking to raise over Rs 2,500 crore through a sale of shares. The telecom operator plans to sell Infratel shares at Rs 350-Rs 360 each, as against Tuesday’s closing price of Rs 370.80 on the BSE. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS are the bankers to the deal. 

Don’t miss:  Prabhu needs to look for ways to raise funds

The market has opened flat on February F&O expiry and Railway Budget day. The Sensex is up 27.01 points or at 29035.00 and the Nifty is up 11.75 points at 8779.00. About 371 shares have advanced, 126 shares declined, and 111 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite, NTPC, ICICI Bank, ONGC and GAIL are top gainers while Infosys, BHEL, Tata Power, Coal India and Dr Reddy’s Labs are among the losers in the Sensex.

All rail stocks are under pressure as Suresh Prabhu prepares to read out Railway Budget at 12 pm today.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 61.93 per dollar on Thursday against previous day’s closing value of 61.97 a dollar.

The dollar nurses modest losses, having eased for a second straight session after recent remarks from the head of the Federal Reserve prompted markets to push back the timing of an eventual US interest rate hike.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, “A strong reform-friendly budget could strengthen rupee in the medium term. Gains however will be tempered by strong dollar globally and RBI intervention to prevent currency volatility. We expect the USD-INR pair to trade today in a range of 61.80-62.10/dollar.”

Meanwhile, in Asia, Nikkei hit fresh 15-year high though the rest of Asia was subdued in early morning trade. The dollar -yen has moved back towards the 119 mark, which is good for exporters. Kospi was seeing profit booking from a near 3-month high.

Stocks in the US closed narrowly mixed with the Dow Jones closing at a new record amid firming oil prices, moderate housing data.
In Europe, equities ended lower as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings

In commodities, Nymex Crude holds steady around USD 51 a barrel, Brent crude inches towards USD 62 dollars per barrel.

For the precious metals gold, prices remain largely unchanged at around USD 1205 per ounce.

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