Markets are likely to see a flat opening with the Nifty poised to retest the 7,400 levels. Early indicator, SGX Nifty was almost unchanged at 7,411.

Meanwhile, the Asian share markets grudgingly gave ground on Thursday while the euro flat lined at $ 1.3600, hostage to great expectations that the European Central Bank will finally end months of dithering by easing policy further.

Not helping was a drop in HSBC/Markit’s measure of the China service sector to 50.7 in May from April’s 51.4, though that was still above the 50-point level that is supposed to separate growth from contraction.

The findings buck the trend seen in other China surveys in recent days which suggested the economy may be stabilizing after a weak start to the year and raise the question of whether Beijing needs to do more to put a floor beneath growth.

Japan’s Nikkei shed early gains to be up just a sliver at 15,082 points, so far failing to extend a two-week rally to test the April top of 15,164.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.1%, while South Korea’s market lost 0.6%.

Overnight, U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday with the S&P 500 ending at a new record as investors brushed off weaker-than-expected labor market data and focused on an acceleration in services-sector growth.

But trading volume continued to be light as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday and the U.S. government’s May nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.09%, to 16,737, the S&P 500 gained 0.19%, to 1,928 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.41%, to 4,252.

Stocks to Watch

Gulf Oil: Ex-date for demerger

Cement scrips: This pocket is likely to be in spotlight on news of cement price hike.  However, UltraTech may see red after Citi put out a report with a ‘Sell’ rating for the stock

Crompton Greaves: Avantha Group firm Crompton Greaves will be in spotlight after Global private equity firm KKR is likely to acquire a majority stake in Avantha Power and Infrastructure Ltd

Power Grid: CLSA has termed the stock as a value pick and has given a ‘Buy’ rating in a recent report

Real Estate scrips: This pocket will be in focus on reports that government is mulling tax breaks for launching real estate investment trusts (REITs) this Budget. The companies to be benefited will be DLF, Brigade Enterprises, Oberoi Realty and Prestige Estates Projects

Deepak Fertilizer & NFL: Fertiliser Ministry to divert share of Deepak Fertilizer’s gas to NFL