Flat opening seen; ITC, Max India, Tata Motors in focus

Benchmark share indices are likely to open flat, amid mixed global cues, and remain range bound as weakness in oil shares is likely to cap upside gains. Further, World Bank which lowered its global growth forecast for 2015 and 2015 on the back of weak economic outlook in the euro zone and Japan would also weigh on market sentiment.

At 8:30AM, the early indicator SGX Nifty was up 8 points at 8,353.

Asian shares were trading mixed. Shares in Japan were trading lower tracking weakness in overnight trades on Wall Street. Meanwhile, the Japanese government today approved a record $ 812 billion budget for the coming fiscal year and also reduced borrowing for a third straight year.
The benchmark Nikkei was down over 1%. Shares in China extended gains on the back of encouraging trade data. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.5% while Hang Seng and Straits Times were up 0.1% each.

US stocks ended with marginal losses but came off their intra-day highs amid a volatile trading session weighed down by commodity stocks tracking weak commodity prices. Copper prices dropped below $ 6,000 per tonne to hit their lowest levels in over five years while oil prices touched near six-year lows before rebounding marginally. The Dow Jones ended 27 points down at 17,614, the broader S&P 500 lost 5 points at 2,023 and tech-laden Nasdaq ended down 3 points at 4,661.

Stocks in Focus

Cigarette makers such as ITC, VST Industries and Godfrey Philips will be in focus as, the Centre on Tuesday moved to amend the anti-smoking law and proposed radical changes, including a ban on sale of loose cigarettes and raising the minimum age of a person buying tobacco products to 21 years from the existing 18.

Max India will be in focus as the company has elegated authority to its Investment & Finance Committee, to examine options for corporate restructuring of the Company. According to media reports the company plans to split into three divisions with holding companies for each of the businesses.

Tata Consultancy Services will be in focus after it has broken its silence on the controversy over large-scale lay-offs, saying the company hadn’t initiated, and wasn’t planning to initiate “large-scale exits” for any section of its staff, in any part of the organisation.

Global pharmaceutical major Strides Arcolab today said its Singapore-based wholly owned subsidiary Strides Pharma Global has been awarded ‘International Headquarters Status’ by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Tata Motors will be in focus after global wholesales at 85,742 in December 2014 up 8% over December 2013. Jaguar Land Rover sales for December 2014 rose 7% to 42,962 units compared with December 2013.

Vascon Engineers Ltd has informed tha the board has approved the formation of a Subsidiary Company in Qatar for execution of EPC projects in that country.

SGX Nifty


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