Sensex up over 74 points in early trade ahead of RBI policy

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Sensex opened 74.18 points up to 19,318.60, with all sectoral indices rising up to 0.67 per cent. (Reuters) Sensex opened 74.18 points up to 19,318.60, with all sectoral indices rising up to 0.67 per cent. (Reuters)
SummarySensex opened 74.18 points up to 19,318.60, with all sectoral indices rising up to 0.67 per cent.

The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose over 74 points in early trade on fresh buying by participants ahead of the RBI's mid-quarter monetary policy review, amid a firm trend in the Asian region.

The 30-share barometer, which had lost 72.83 points yesterday, recovered by 74.18 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 19,318.60, with all sectoral indices rising up to 0.67 per cent.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty gained 21.20 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 5879.10.

Brokers said fresh buying by funds ahead of the RBI's mid-quarter monetary policy to be announced later today, influenced the trading sentiments.

Besides, a firming trend in the Asian region also had a positive impact, they said.

Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up by 1.10 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.18 per cent.The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.76 per cent higher yesterday.

Stocks to watch-Dec 18

GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange 0.06 percent higher. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan was 0.26 percent up.

The S&P 500 ended at its highest level in almost two months on Monday on rising hopes that negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" were making progress and that a deal could be reached in days.

Asian shares crept higher on Tuesday, tracking the overnight gains in U.S. stocks on optimism for progress in resolving the U.S. budget crisis before the year-end deadline.

FACTORS TO WATCH

RBI's monetary policy review at 0530GMT.

RBI deputy governor Subir Gokarn at events. (0800GMT, 1100GMT)

Trade Minister Anand Sharma, Chief Economic Adviser Rajan at economics conclave.

INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

TOP NEWS

India's central bank is expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Tuesday, according to a new Reuters poll, with respondents split over whether it will cut the cash reserve ratio (CRR) for banks.

A battle over affirmative action for low castes threw the Indian parliament into disarray on Monday, threatening to derail the government's ambitious timetable for passing reforms this week that are aimed at opening up Asia's third-largest economy.

The exit polls have spoken - all confirming the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would see another victory in Gujarat. And those are unanimous: The BJP will increase its share of seats in the 182-member state Assembly.

Foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai on Monday said India was spearheading an initiative to develop a currency swap agreement among Saarc countries, which would help them protect their currencies during exigencies.

The RBI has told finance ministry that it would not be able to monitor the end use of funds brought in to set up foreign-funded stores, according to a person privy to the development.

The government will soon announce incentives for exporters to provide them a cushion in the wake of declining exports and global slowdown, a senior official said on Monday.

ENERGY/COMMODITIES

The government is likely to take a decision on sugar exports in January after assessing the final cane crop and the estimated sugar output.

The government is considering schemes such as gold deposits, gold-linked accounts and pension products to curb demand for the precious metal, blaming its massive imports for the high current account deficit.

The government and regulators are discussing fresh tax benefits for investment in equities in an attempt to wean away individuals from parking funds in gold.

ConocoPhillips is in talks with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to buy stake in more than one of its ultra-deep-water blocks.

FINANCIAL/REGULATORY

Investments into Indian shares through the participatory note (P-Note) route hit an eight-month high of 1.76 trillion rupees in October.

The government has approved the first tranche of 120 billion rupees fund infusion in state-owned banks, a moved aimed at enhancing their capital base, a senior official said.

IT

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, India's largest information technology services provider, told analysts the company's third quarter would be a usual one, with no sudden negative surprises.

TELECOMS

The government on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its January judgment that struck down the income tax department's demand for $2.2 billion from Vodafone over the UK company's acquisition of Hutchison's stake in Hutch-Essar in 2007.

AIRLINES

Gulf carrier Etihad Airways, seeking to widen operations in India and other Asian markets, is in the final stages of talks to buy part of either Jet Airways or grounded rival Kingfisher Airlines, an Indian government official said on Monday.

India's debt-laden and grounded Kingfisher Airlines said on Monday it will "restart in a phased manner," with own funding, and will not seek banks' support.

Kingfisher Airlines promoter Vijay Mallya will pump in 4.25 billion rupees into the grounded airline as the first step to kick-start its operations, albeit in a limited way. Exactly a decade after he launched India's first low-cost carrier (LCC) Air Deccan and five years after he was forced to sell it off, Captain G R Gopinath is all set to make a comeback with a startup.

INFRASTRUCTURE/POWER

The 32-km Phase-II of the Mumbai Metro project, bagged by Reliance Infrastructure, faces termination in the absence of substantial progress.

Reliance Power promoters, Reliance Infra, Reliance Innoventures and AAA Project Ventures will sell 5.42 percent stake in the company through separate window in BSE.

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday allowed property developers to borrow money overseas through external commercial borrowing (ECB) for funding low-cost housing projects.

The government will this month finalize the bid documents for all new power projects, including those capable of generating 4,000 megawatts (MW), in which it will specify that these be transferred to the electricity buyers at the end of the 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).

AUTOS

Auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra is in advanced negotiations to buy out its American partner Navistar's stake in the 51:49 commercial vehicle joint venture Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd (MNAL). According to sources, the negotiations are almost complete and an announcement is expected shortly.

India's competition watchdog is investigating anti-competitive practices by carmakers, the country's corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot said in a written reply in parliament on Monday.

Bracing for tough times ahead, Tata Motors, India's largest automobile manufacturer in revenues, has embarked on a major belt tightening exercise. The company is making efforts to tide over a market dip in demand for its key commercial vehicles business.

INDUSTRIAL

India's Godrej Industries said on Monday Singapore's Temasek will buy 20 percent stake in the former's agriculture business unit for 5.72 billion rupees ($104.86 million) to fund the unit's expansion plans.

HEALTH CARE

Bangalore-based biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd has given CCM Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Chemical Company of Malaysia, exclusive licence and distribution rights for its insulin products in Malaysia and Brunei.

Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, the US subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceuticals, has reached an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc to buy the generic business of URL Pharma. Financial details were not disclosed.

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