Markets are likely to open the March series on a cautious ahead of the Economic Survey which is due to be presented later during the day. The Rail Budget which was tabled yesterday failed to lift the sentiments of the participants and is likely to weigh on the bourses.
A day ahead of tabling of the Economic Survey in Parliament, Standard & Poor's on Thursday pegged India's economic growth at 7.9 per cent for 2015-16 and 8.2 per cent for the next financial year, against 7.4 per cent expected in the current financial year. It termed India as the "bright spot" in Asia-Pacific.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday presented the Rail Budget, not announcing new trains or factories, and instead laying the track for increasing carrying capacity by substantially stepping up investment in infrastructure.
He kept passenger fares intact given the fall in diesel prices, which saved him Rs 5,000 crore this year, but hiked freight rates for some commodities, including coal, by 6.3 per cent and cement by 2.7 per cent.
To transform the Railways and make it future-ready, Prabhu proposes to invest Rs 1 lakh crore in 2015-16, and over the coming five years Rs 8.5 lakh crore.
Japanese stocks crawled to a fresh 15-year peak on Friday after the dollar surged against the yen as upbeat U.S. data flipped expectations back in favor of an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
The rest of Asian equity markets lagged Japan after a sharp pullback in oil prices dulled risk appetite and sent Wall Street lower overnight.
Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.3 percent after touching a high not seen since June 2000, helped by a weaker yen which is seen sharpening Japanese exporters' competitiveness and boosting their earnings.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Railway stocks including Texmaco, Kalindee Rail, Titagerh Wagons, Hind Rectifier are likely to remain in focus post the announcements in the Rail Budget.
Stocks of cement companies are likely to remain in focus after the Railway Budget proposed a rise in freight rates for coal by 6.3 per cent and by 2.7 per cent for cement.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has signalled its intention to provide a defence boost to 'Make in India' by asking two Indian consortia - led respectively by Tata Power (Strategic Engineering Division) and Bharat Electronics (BEL) - to develop a "Battlefield Management System" (BMS). This could generate Rs 40,000-50,000 crore worth of procurement for the army.
The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has allowed Reliance and Axis mutual funds (MFs) to hold up to five per cent stake each in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX). Any entity seeking to hold more than two per cent in the commodity exchange has to take prior approval of the commodities market regulator.
Responding to the penalty imposed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), DLF on Thursday said that it is aware of the adjudication orders passed by Sebi under section 15 of the Sebi Act, 1992, against the company.
State Bank of India received shareholders' approval for raising Rs 15,000 crore through a public offer, including a rights issue, to fund business and meet global capital adequacy norms.