Benchmark indices are likely to open on a flat note tracking the mixed trends in their Asian peers. Markets may gain momentum later in the session on firm global cues.
On the domestic front, government pushing forward the insurance and coal sector reforms through an executive order is likely to boost investor sentiments.
"The short-term trend has again turned to negative till the Nifty doesn’t cross and hold immediate hurdle of 8,250. On the downside, holding below 8,250 may drag index to 8,080 and lower levels," said a morning note from Anand Rathi.
Meanwhile, selling by foreign institutional investors was heavy on Wednesday and they were net sellers in Indian equities worth Rs 2,808.27 crore, as per provisional stock exchange data.
Among Asian markets, Nikkei is trading lower by around 0.2% subdued by profit-booking which emerged on Thursday after five straight sessions of gains. The Chinese Shanghai Composite index has extended gains from Thursday when the index had gained around 3% led by the surge in financials. It is trading higher by around 0.3%.US markets were closed on account of Christmas holidays on Thursday. In a shortened session on Wednesday, the major indices had closed on a flat note with Dow Jones Industrial Average ending at record-closing high.
Stocks to watch
Reliance will be in focus after signing a deal with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for transporting liquefied ethane from North America starting 2017, according to media reports.
Reliance Capital will be in focus after Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank announced that it will pick up a 2.77% stake in the company for Rs 371 crore. Reliance Capital, a non-banking finance company engaged in lending, asset management and insurance, said it intended to open a bank with support of the Japanese financial giant.
Power Grid Corporation will be in focus on media reports that government is going to invoke 'compressed time schedule' clause to award around eight transmission projects to the company.
Bharti Airtel is in news after making VOIP (voice over internet protocol) calls expensive. Bharti Airtel prepaid customers will be charged more for voice and video calls made on Skype, Viber and similar services than for browsing the internet, in a move that could impinge on the principle of 'net neutrality'.
SpiceJet will be in focus as the troubled airline will submit its revival plan to the government today. Cash-strapped SpiceJet, in talks with two US-based private equity (PE) firms for investment, will provide a revival plan to the ministry of civil aviation.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will be in focus on media reports that it is planning to raise Rs 4,000 crore for the expansion of its Kochi refinery and to fund its petrochemicals venture.
Oil India is in news on commissioning its first five MW solar power plant in Rajasthan.
Hike in import duty on crude and refined edible oils by the government may lead to fresh buying in stocks like Ruchi Soya and Gokul Refoils.