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The stock markets would be guided by macroeconomic data and auto sales numbers during the first week of the new year, say experts. Investors will also be tracking companies' third quarter results, they added. "The underlying positive fundamentals in domestic market will continue to support the valuations while investors are also looking for the unveiling of Q3 results to see any upgradation in earnings growth. On the global front investors will look forward to the movement of oil price and Fed's forecast of three additional rate hikes in 2018. "Focus on upcoming union budget and government's reforms will direct investors to turn sector/stock specific.
Additionally, any pick up in capacity utilisation and recovery in capex cycle will add impetus to the market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. PMI data for the manufacturing and services sectors which are due this week would play a key role in setting the market trend. "Automobile sales data will be out and markets will be critically examining the same since it can further lead the momentum," said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research. For 2018, one of the most important aspects will be the quarterly results, Nadeem added. "Post state elections, all eyes are on Budget 2018. The next budget is expected to be focused on improving rural economy and would be an ideal opportunity for the government to set its roadmap for alleviating rural distress," said Arun Thukral, MD and CEO, Axis Securities. The Sensex clocked its best performance in recent years in 2017, rising by 7,430.37 points, or 27.91 per cent.