The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday washed out initial gains to close flat near its one-week low ahead of third quarter earnings of Infosys and November industrial production data on Friday. The Sensex ended 3.04 points lower at 19,663.55 after touching the day's high of 19,783.75 on hopes of fuel price hikes soon after the government on Wednesday hiked railway passenger fares after nearly a decade. The Sensex had shed 76 points on Wednesday. Brokers said after the initial activity on Thursday, investors focussed on Infosys earnings and IIP data slated for release on Friday. Smart gains achieved by heavyweights like ONGC, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors and ITC outweighed by falls in TCS, HDFC, BHEL and Bharti Airtel. Any greater-than-expected contraction in IIP data will be a crucial signal for the RBI to cut rates in its third quarter monetary review polocy meeting on January 29, traders added. Selling was seen mostly in frontline stocks while second-line counters attracted good buying support, indicating more retail participation, analysts said. The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also eased 2.85 points, or 0.05%, at 5,968.65.
NSE plans Nifty futures on Japanese exchange
The countrys leading bourse, National Stock Exchange (NSE), will launch yen-denominated Nifty futures on the Osaka Securities Exchange by March next year, a move that will provide Japanese investors exposure to Indian equities. Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE) is part of Japan Exchange Group (JPX). The NSE and JPX have entered into an agreement for launching S&P CNX Nifty Futures on OSE. This is the first time that retail and institutional investors in Japan will be able to take a view on the Indian markets, in addition to current ETFs, in their own currency and in their own time zone, said a joint statement. Investors would, therefore not face any currency risk, because they would not have to invest in dollar-denominated or rupee-denominated contracts, it said. NSE's MD & CEO Ravi Narain and JPX Group CEO Atsushi Saito signed a letter of intent for the proposed launch. The yen-denominated S&P CNX Nifty futures would be listed on the OSE by March 2014.