The Indian benchmark indices on Wednesday opened on a slightly positive note following supportive global and Asian cues, but investors and traders turned jittery after the central and state governments failed to reach a consensus on the issue of dual control at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting. Sentiments also were dampened by the report that India’s services industry contracted for a second month in a row in December, as orders shrank amid a severe cash shortage. The Nikkei/Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index was slightly altered at 46.8 in December, from November’s 46.7 (a reading below 50 indicates contraction). A new business sub-index, an indicator of domestic and foreign demand, fell to a 39-month low of 46.0 in December from 46.7, even though firms cut prices of their goods despite input costs rising at a faster pace. Finally the NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty, registered a single digit loss to settle below the crucial 8,200 support level; while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, Sensex slipped by around ten points and managed a close above the psychological 26,650 mark.European markets finished flat on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 gained 0.16 per cent, while the CAC 40 and DAX remained unchanged.The U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday as the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed that policy makers expected a faster pace of rate hikes in 2017. Most Fed officials indicated that upside risks to their growth forecasts had increased as a result of prospects for “more expansionary fiscal policies in the coming years.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60.47 points at 19,942.23, fractionally below the record set last month. The S&P 500 advanced 12.92 points to 2,270.75, just a point below its all-time high set in December. The Nasdaq Composite ended the session up by 47.92 points at 5,477. Asian equity markets are trading in the mix. Hang Seng is trading higher by 1.03 per cent at 22,365 and Shanghai is trading with gains of 0.14 per cent. Nikkei 225 is trading in negative terrain with losses of 0.18 per cent. At 8:03 am, SGX Nifty index has risen by 0.46 per cent to 8,235.50, indicating a healthy start for Indian equities.
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