Indian benchmark indexes, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty 50, likely will start positive on Thursday tracking global cues although the expiry of August F&O contracts today will keep overall investor sentiment cautious. The SGX Nifty traded at levels around 11,740 vs Nifty August Future's Wednesday close of 11,707, indicating a positive opening on Dalal Street.
Here is what you need to know before the market opens: Asia: Stocks rose on Thursday tracking record Wall Street gains. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged up 0.1 percent. Australian stocks added 0.15 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei rose to a three-month high, last trading up 0.45 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI was little changed. US: A rally in tech stocks led the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 to record highs, with Amazon, Alphabet and Apple leading the gains. Investor sentiment was also boosted by the resumption of U.S.-Canada trade talks. The Nasdaq gained 1 percent to close at 8,109.69. The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 2,914.04, closing above 2,900 for the first time. The S&P 500 tech sector rose 1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 60.55 points to 26,124.57 as Apple rose 1.5 percent to an all-time high. Dollar: The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies struggled near a four-week low of 94.434 plumbed on Tuesday, weighed by the pound’s rally. The euro was steady at $1.1709 after edging up 0.1 percent the previous day. The dollar was flat at 111.68 yen after rising 0.4 percent overnight. Crude prices: US crude futures rose 0.25 percent to $69.68 per barrel. Oil contracts had risen more than 1 percent on Wednesday, supported by a drawdown in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks and as U.S. sanctions reduced Iranian crude shipments. Market at close: The Nifty 50 saw a fall of 47 points to close below 11,700, while the Sensex ending 174 points lower at 38,723. It hit the record high of 38,989.7 in the opening tick. The Nifty Bank index closed at 28,224.10, down 45.55 points on Wednesday. Rupee: The home currency closed at a fresh lifetime low of 70.59 by falling 49 paise against the dollar on robust demand for the American currency. Sustained demand for the dollar from banks and importers, mainly oil refiners, following higher crude oil prices, kept the rupee under pressure. FII & DII data: Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,415.87 crore while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,114.36 crore in the Indian equity market on Wednesday. Demonetisation: Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, when the note ban was announced, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned, the RBI annual report released on Wednesday said. This meant just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency did not return to the banking system. DA hike: Government employees with get an additional dearness allowance (DA) of two percent over the existing seven percent as per the accepted formula based on recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, Union Cabinet said on Wednesday. NPAs: RBI is planning to extend the February 12 circular for resolution of stressed assets put in place for banks to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) as well.