Pre-market: Positive start eyed; Fed comments shrugged off globally

Market is expected to rebound from lower levels after witnessing selling pressure a day earlier on account of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments that the Fed may raise interest rates earlier than expected.

At 8.30am, the Nifty futures at the Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) were trading 25.50 higher at 6526.50, indicating a positive start.

A day earlier key benchmark indices plunged to their two-week lows tracking the weakness in global markets. Stocks world over remained subdued on Thursday as investors digested the Yellen’s comments that the central bank may raise interested within six months, depending on a host of macro-economic data. However, Asian markets will be hoping for a bounce on Friday after Wall Street shook off concerns about Federal Reserve policy, while a rise in US yields should keep the dollar underpinned near three-week highs. After falling sharply on Thursday, the early signs were that stocks in the region might at least be able to stabilise.

The Australian market edged up 0.3% while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was dead flat. Investors should find some comfort in Wall Street’s ability to bounce with the S&P 500 closing up 0.6% and the Dow 0.67%.

Other news

In what could add to the positive sentiment, Moody’s Analytics, the global provider of financial analysis services, said on Thursday that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was likely to be replaced by a Narendra Modi-led government after the Lok Sabha elections. It further said the likely Bharatiya Janata Party-led government might be better at governing the economy, now facing low business confidence and investment levels.

“India’s electoral machine is grinding into action ahead of balloting set to take place in phases from April 7 to May 12. The current Congress-led government is likely to be ousted after a disappointing second term,” the research firm said.

Around the globe

Globally, China has relaxed rules to allow more foreign participation in its main stock market, in the latest step towards liberalising the financial system in the world’s second-largest economy.

From Thursday, foreign investors on the Shanghai stock exchange will be allowed to invest in more products and can invest up to 30 per cent in a single company, up from 20 per cent previously

Crimean conundrum

On the other side of the Pacific US President Barack Obama on Thursday announced he would expand sanctions against Russia, targeting individuals who support the government and a bank with ties to them, and delivering on his warning earlier this week that the United States would ratchet up costs on Russia if it moved to annex the breakaway province of Crimea.
Germany and France said the European Union won’t rush to impose economic sanctions on Russia for the annexation of Crimea, as the US stepped up its measures against the Kremlin and its allies.

Germany, which is Russia’s biggest EU trading partner, expects the 28-country bloc to expand “stage two” measures in place including travel bans and asset freezes, Chancellor Angela Merkel said before an EU summit in Brussels. It is too early to move to economic retaliation, she said.
Stocks to watch

The government will on Friday sell nine per cent stake held by the Specified Undertaking of UTI (Suuti) in Axis Bank, sources say. The sale, to be conducted through block trades, will help raise between Rs 5,450 crore ($ 892 million) and Rs 5,735 crore ($ 938 million).b

SGX Nifty

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