The Indian equity markets started the last day of the week on a cheerful note, but markets failed to sustain at higher levels and ended the day on a dismal note. After about 8 days of successive positive closing, the Nifty ended the session in a negative terrain. However, on a weekly basis the market ended almost 0.7 per cent higher amid some weakness in USD and government reassurance about higher tax revenue collection than budgeted estimates for FY-17. Technology stocks came under pressure on reports that two US Congressmen have reintroduced a bill to curb the use of H-1B visas, on which the Indian IT sector is particularly dependent. The new bill would require workers on the H-1B visa to pay a minimum of $ 100,000, up from $ 60,000 currently. Eventually, the NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index Nifty, suffered over a quarter per cent cut to settle below the crucial 8,250 support level; while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, Sensex slipped by over a hundred points and closed below the psychological 26,800 mark. Moreover, the broader markets too failed to show any kind of fervour and settled with cuts of over a quarter per cent.European markets finished higher on Friday with shares in London leading in the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.20 per cent; while France’s CAC 40 is up 0.19 per cent; and Germany’s DAX is up 0.12 per cent.The U.S. stocks notched new closing records on Friday following a solid jobs report as the Dow Industrial came within a fraction of breaching the magical mark of 20,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.51 points to finish at 19,963.80, led by shares of Nike and Walt Disney Co. The S&P 500 index closed up 7.98 points at a record 2,276.98 with the tech and industrial sectors being the strongest performers. The Nasdaq Composite index finished up 33.12 points at a record 5,521.06.Asian equity markets kick-started the trading week on a lacklustre note despite solid cues from the U.S markets. Japanese markets are shut on account of a holiday. Hang Seng is trading flat with gains of 43 points and Shanghai with gains of 3 points.At 7:52 am, SGX Nifty index was trading flat at 8,273 up by 5.5 points, indicating a flat start for Indian equities. Market participants will react to government’s advance estimates for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Central Statistical Organisation on Friday has forecasted that the GDP will grow by 7.1 per cent in the current fiscal year despite the demonetisation drive.
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