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Opening bell: Nifty likely to open in red; eyes on IIP data

The Indian market is expected to open in red today with the SGX Nifty, an indicator of pre-market opening, trading around 8805, down 5 points at 7:50 hrs. In important macro data, Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for February will be released today. A CNBC-TV18 poll sees it inching higher to 3.64 percent due to favourable base impact.

Bulls, however, remained in power on Thursday as the market cheered the India outlook upgrade by Moody’s. The Nifty ended above 8750 level supported by banks stocks and index heavyweight Reliance Industries. However, healthcare and telecom stocks were under pressure.

Among global markets, in US, stocks closed higher after trading in a narrow range as investors digested a rebound in oil prices and looked for more signals on the timing of an interest rate hike.

Jobless claims rose by 14,000 last week, indicating that more Americans are seeking unemployment benefits. The increase follows a fifteen-year low reported in the previous week. The less volatile four-week average of claims, though, fell by 3,000.

In Europe, equities closed higher as investors reacted to fresh economic data and auto stocks posted strong gains.

Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has left interest rates on hold at 0.5 percent and quantitative easing unchanged at 375 billion pounds.

Greece makes 450 million euro loan payment to the International Monetary Fund. The payment to the IMF secured extra emergency lending for Greek banks and helped improve global risk sentiment.

And in Asia, stocks are mixed ahead of China’s inflation data; Nikkei trades just shy of 20,000 mark.

In the currency space, the dollar hovers at three week highs against a basket of major currencies as the hapless euro extended its decline.

Among commodities, crude prices gain on strong German economic data and uncertainty about negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme.

From precious metals space, gold slips below USD 1200 an ounce on a stronger dollar after Federal Reserve officials kept alive expectations for an interest rate rise some time this year despite recent weak economic data.

Back home, airlines fume at the government’s controversial norms to replace the 5/20 rule. But finance minister defends the proposal, says it’s country over corporates.

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