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Nifty may open in red on slower core sector growth

The Indian market is expected to open in red as the SGX Nifty, an indicator of pre-market opening, was down 11 points to 8992 in the early morning trade today.

The Budget reiterated a gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 8 percent plus but the economy continues to struggle. Core sector growth slows in January; coal, electricity, cement and steel industries sputter. HSBC manufacturing PMI drops to its lowest level in five months and February auto sales paint a mixed picture.

The bulls remain in high spirits in Monday with the Sensex gaining nearly 100 points and the Nifty nearing the 9,000 mark. 

India formally joins the ranks of inflation targeting countries. President signs landmark monetary policy agreement with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordering central bank to keep inflation below 6 percent next year and around 4 percent for all subsequent years.

Among global markets, in the US, stocks closed higher yesterday, with the Nasdaq above the psychologically key level of 5,000 for the first time since March 2000 and the Dow and S&P 500 at records as investors cheered US economic data and an interest rate cut in China.

And in Europe, equities closed lower as a fall in oil price once again hit investor sentiment. On data front, manufacturing PMI for the euro zone came in at 51.0 in February, unchanged from January. And the unemployment rate fell to 11.2 percent in January for the euro zone.

Asian stocks were modestly higher this morning but were not displaying the same exuberance that was seen on the Wall Street. Nikkei was at 15 year highs with dollar-yen trading near a two-and-a-half-week high of 120.1. Kospi index opened at a new five-month high.

In the currency space, the dollar edges higher against a basket of major currencies, touching an 11-year high despite soft economic data. Euro slips to 1.11 levels

Among commodities, Brent crude posted its biggest drop in a month yesterday, down 5 percent. Speculation that a nuclear deal could lift Iran’s sanctions and boost its exports stoked supply concerns.

In precious metals space, gold prices slip marginally to USD 1207 per ounce.   

Back home, the insurance bill is stuck in the Parliament, but the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) gets cracking. The 49 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) hike is now operational.  Lok Sabha passes the Motor Vehicles Amendments Act paving the way for e-rickshaws.

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