Indian Shares Seen Higher

SGX Nifty futures point to a higher open on Tuesday, although gains may be capped amid lackluster global cues. The benchmark indexes Sensex and Nifty erased early gains to end down less than half a percent each on Monday as investors locked in some profits after a five-day rally, awaiting cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting that gets underway this week.

State-run banks could be in focus today after the Narendra Modi government scrapped the selection of six chiefs of public sector banks, including Bank of Baroda, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Vijaya Bank, recommended under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. The decision comes after a high-level panel found numerous irregularities in the selection process.

Meanwhile, measures such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) combined with dismantling of inter-state check posts could significantly improve domestic and international competitiveness of Indian manufacturing firms, a World Bank report said. “With economic reforms gaining momentum, long-term prospects for growth remain bright for India,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director in India.

Asian Markets

Asian stocks are trading mostly lower following a lackluster session on Wall Street overnight as investors look ahead to a Federal Reserve decision on its interest rate policy. The Fed is widely expected to end its massive asset purchase program and leave its key interest rate unchanged at a range of zero to 0.25 percent when it concludes its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

The benchmark indexes in Australia, Japan and South Korea are down between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent, while Chinese and Hong Kong shares are gaining ground after declining on Monday on disappointment over a delay to the start of the Hong Kong-Shanghai bourse link.

U.S. And European Markets

The major U.S. averages ended mixed showing little change overnight as investors paused for breath after last week’s rally. On the economic front, pending home sales rose less than forecast in September and U.S. service sector activity dipped to a six-month low in October, while Texas factory activity grew at a pace slower than last month in October, separate reports showed, taking some shine off the economic recovery.

European stocks fell on Monday as downbeat German business confidence data fueled concerns the euro area is on the verge of another recession. Banks ended mostly lower despite largely positive results from the European Central Bank’s stress tests of European banks. The German DAX lost a percent, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.8 percent and the FTSE 100 index of the U.K. eased 0.4 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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