Markets may open flat in the backdrop of sluggish global cues

Indian benchmark indices got off to a subdued start, and remained in a narrow range for the most part of the trading session. However, indices regained strength in the last hour of trade after India’s dominant services industry returned to growth in February for the first time in four months. Finally, the NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index, Nifty, registered marginal loss of 2 points to settle below the crucial 8,900 support level; while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, Sensex, slipped by less than ten points and closed above the psychological 28,800 mark.The European markets were locked in a sideways trend on Friday, fluctuating between small gains and losses throughout the session. The markets ended the day with mixed results. The DAX of Germany dropped 0.27 per cent, but the CAC 40 of France rose 0.63 per cent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 0.11 per cent. U.S stocks eked out gains on Friday, extending a weekly advance, as comments from Janet Yellen and other key Federal Reserve officials confirmed growing expectations of a March interest-rate hike. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unchanged at 21,006. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10 points to 5,871 and the S&P 500 index closed up 1.2 points at 2,383.12.Asian markets are trading mixed on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.53 per cent. On the other hand, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.15 per cent; and Shanghai Composite gained 0.11 per cent.At 7:52 am, SGX Nifty Index was trading flat with nominal gains of 10 points at 8931.50, indicating a flat start for Indian equities.

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