August F&O expiry: Sensex slips 33 pts; ADAG stocks rally, Rupee at 70.82/$

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The benchmark indices ended flat on Thursday on expiry of August Futures and Options (F&O) contracts.

The sentiment was also affected during the day after the rupee hit record low of Rs 70.82 against US dollar, making it the worst performing Asian currency in calendar year 2018 (CY18).

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 38,690, down 33 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 11,677, down 15 points. Going ahead, investors will look forward to the June-quarter GDP data to be announced on August 31. For the quarter ended March 31, the GDP growth rate stood at 7.7 per cent. 

Among sectoral indices, the Nifty Auto index settled nearly 0.5 per cent lower on Thursday due to a fall in share prices of Maruti Suzuki and Eicher Motors. The Nifty Bank index, too, slipped over 0.4 per cent led by fall in shares of private banks -- RBL Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Yes Bank. Reliance Industries (RIL) ended 1.6 per cent lower at Rs 1,274 on the BSE. 

Rupee sinks to 70.82 per dollar

Continuing its free-fall, the rupee today weakened by another 23 paise against the dollar to trade at a lifetime low of 70.82 on strong month-end demand for the US currency amid sustained foreign fund outflows.

Reliance ADAG stocks in focus

Shares of Anil Ambani led Reliance Group (ADAG) companies were trading higher for the second straight day on the back of heavy volumes in an otherwise subdued market. Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital were up in the range of 3% to 6% on the BSE. READ MORE HERE

Global Markets

Asian stocks handed back earlier gains and fell on Thursday, with Chinese markets fixed firmly on risks from the China-US trade war and taking little comfort from an apparent easing in business tensions in North America and Europe.

The leaders of the United States and Canada expressed optimism on Wednesday that NAFTA negotiations would meet a Friday deadline for a deal, days after the US and Mexico reached a bilateral agreement.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.3 per cent, with broad gains across the region offset by losses in China. The Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.9 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei initially touched three-month high following gains on Wall Street but pared gains and was last up a modest 0.05 per cent. South Korea's KOSPI was a shade lower.

(With inputs from Reuters)

4:26 PM IST MARKET COMMENT Jayant Manglik, President, Religare Broking Nifty ended flat amid volatility on the F&O expiry day, while rollover and unwinding of derivatives positions kept the participants busy. In line with the benchmark index, sectoral indices also remained volatile and ended mixed. We expect consolidation in Nifty ahead. However, there'll be no shortage of opportunities on stock-specific front. In absence of any major event on domestic front, global cues would dictate the market trend in near future. Traders should continue with stock-specific trading approach and prefer banks, auto and pharma for fresh buying.

3:38 PM IST Nifty sectoral gainers and losers of the day

3:36 PM IST BSE Sensex: RIL, Maruti Suzuki, IndusInd Bank among top losers of the day

3:34 PM IST Market at close The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 38,690, down 33 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 11,677, down 15 points.

3:15 PM IST ITI surges 20% on work order win of Rs 66.34 billion from BSNL Shares of ITI surged 20% to Rs 112 on the BSE after the company said it has received an advance work order (AWO) worth of Rs 66.34 billon from BSNL. READ MORE

3:04 PM IST Broadband, OTT challenge for media companies; Cable firms to be hit most The Nifty Media is the second worst performing index among sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), falling nine per cent over the past year. In comparison, the general benchmark Nifty 50, trading at all-time highs, has gained 18 per cent during the period. READ MORE

3:02 PM IST Kotak Institutional Equities maintains SELL on Reliance Industries Our reverse valuation exercise suggests that investors have not only priced in a robust energy segment performance in RIL’s current valuations, but also ascribed the EV of leading players in key sectors that are being targeted by RIL’s platform narrative—Bharti’s India business (telecom), Avenue Supermarts (retail), Flipkart (e-commerce) and key players in the media sector (content ecosystem). The recent sharp rally leaves limited scope for disappointment on that narrative, which may not be ruled out given well-funded competition in key segments. Reiterate SELL. RIL is valued at $91 billion (Rs 6 lakh crore)

2:46 PM IST Gold edges down as rate hike views dent appeal Gold prices inched lower on Thursday as the dollar firmed amid expectations of higher US interest rates, but the precious metal continued to hold above a key support level of $1,200.   Spot gold was down 0.4 per cent at $1,202.02 an ounce, while US gold futures were down 0.3 per cent at $1,207.80 an ounce. READ MORE

2:29 PM IST Bosch hits over 10-month high; stock surges 16% in two days Shares of Bosch hit an over 10-month high of Rs 21,881, up 9% on Thursday in intra-day trade, extending its Wednesday’s 6.5% rally on the BSE in an otherwise subdued market. READ MORE

2:16 PM IST IL&FS group plans to shed 37% debt, board approves asset divestment plan Faced with overleverage and tight liquidity conditions, the IL&FS group has firmed up plans to shed its debt by 37.5 per cent, or by Rs 300 billion, to Rs 500 billion by divesting 25 projects over 12-18 months. The board of directors has approved the specific asset divestment plan, the company said. Two-third of debt will be from IL&FS Transportation Network Ltd (ITNL). READ MORE

2:02 PM IST Market Check Index Current Pt. Change % Change   S&P BSE SENSEX 38,643.17 -79.76 -0.21   S&P BSE SENSEX 50 12,216.34 -24.25 -0.20   S&P BSE SENSEX Next 50 35,511.14 +164.10 +0.46   S&P BSE 100 11,997.48 -11.66 -0.10   S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index 3,736.26 +18.04 +0.49 (Source: BSE)

1:44 PM IST NBCC: Analysts awaiting a pick-up in project execution and share price NBCC has seen its market capitalisation erode by nearly half since November 2017 highs, despite a healthy and growing order book. The key reason for the weak Street sentiment is that execution has not matched the rising order book, which is also reflecting in the firm’s flat revenues and earnings growth for fiscal year 2018. READ MORE

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MARKET COMMENT Jayant Manglik, President, Religare Broking

Nifty ended flat amid volatility on the F&O expiry day, while rollover and unwinding of derivatives positions kept the participants busy. In line with the benchmark index, sectoral indices also remained volatile and ended mixed.

We expect consolidation in Nifty ahead. However, there'll be no shortage of opportunities on stock-specific front. In absence of any major event on domestic front, global cues would dictate the market trend in near future. Traders should continue with stock-specific trading approach and prefer banks, auto and pharma for fresh buying.
Nifty sectoral gainers and losers of the day


BSE Sensex: RIL, Maruti Suzuki, IndusInd Bank among top losers of the day


Market at close

The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 38,690, down 33 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 11,677, down 15 points.
ITI surges 20% on work order win of Rs 66.34 billion from BSNL

Shares of ITI surged 20% to Rs 112 on the BSE after the company said it has received an advance work order (AWO) worth of Rs 66.34 billon from BSNL. READ MORE

Broadband, OTT challenge for media companies; Cable firms to be hit most

The Nifty Media is the second worst performing index among sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), falling nine per cent over the past year. In comparison, the general benchmark Nifty 50, trading at all-time highs, has gained 18 per cent during the period. READ MORE

Kotak Institutional Equities maintains SELL on Reliance Industries

Our reverse valuation exercise suggests that investors have not only priced in a robust energy segment performance in RIL’s current valuations, but also ascribed the EV of leading players in key sectors that are being targeted by RIL’s platform narrative—Bharti’s India business (telecom), Avenue Supermarts (retail), Flipkart (e-commerce) and key players in the media sector (content ecosystem). The recent sharp rally leaves limited scope for disappointment on that narrative, which may not be ruled out given well-funded competition in key segments. Reiterate SELL.

RIL is valued at $91 billion (Rs 6 lakh crore)

Gold edges down as rate hike views dent appeal

Gold prices inched lower on Thursday as the dollar firmed amid expectations of higher US interest rates, but the precious metal continued to hold above a key support level of $1,200.
 
Spot gold was down 0.4 per cent at $1,202.02 an ounce, while US gold futures were down 0.3 per cent at $1,207.80 an ounce. READ MORE

Bosch hits over 10-month high; stock surges 16% in two days

Shares of Bosch hit an over 10-month high of Rs 21,881, up 9% on Thursday in intra-day trade, extending its Wednesday’s 6.5% rally on the BSE in an otherwise subdued market. READ MORE

IL&FS group plans to shed 37% debt, board approves asset divestment plan

Faced with overleverage and tight liquidity conditions, the IL&FS group has firmed up plans to shed its debt by 37.5 per cent, or by Rs 300 billion, to Rs 500 billion by divesting 25 projects over 12-18 months. The board of directors has approved the specific asset divestment plan, the company said. Two-third of debt will be from IL&FS Transportation Network Ltd (ITNL). READ MORE

Market Check

Index Current Pt. Change % Change
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 38,643.17 -79.76 -0.21
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 50 12,216.34 -24.25 -0.20
 
S&P BSE SENSEX Next 50 35,511.14 +164.10 +0.46
 
S&P BSE 100 11,997.48 -11.66 -0.10
 
S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index 3,736.26 +18.04 +0.49

(Source: BSE)
NBCC: Analysts awaiting a pick-up in project execution and share price

NBCC has seen its market capitalisation erode by nearly half since November 2017 highs, despite a healthy and growing order book. The key reason for the weak Street sentiment is that execution has not matched the rising order book, which is also reflecting in the firm’s flat revenues and earnings growth for fiscal year 2018. READ MORE

HDFC Bank shares lose flavour as FPIs preferring other private lenders

HDFC Bank, once the most popular stock among foreign investors, seems to be losing ground. The stock had opened for fresh foreign portfolio investor (FPI) buying in June this year, as allotment of employee share options (Esops) created a 140 basis points (bps) headroom in the share. READ MORE

Is your mutual fund too expensive? Avoid paying above-average fees

At the Business Standard Fund Café 2018, U K Sinha, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), said that the mutual fund industry in India is one of the most expensive globally and it must bring down the cost of investing. READ MORE

Select PSU banks gain; Dena Bank, UCO Bank up over 5%

Shares of select public sector undertaking (PSU) banks were trading higher by up to 11% on the BSE on the report that the government has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to prepare a list of suitable banks for merger. READ MORE

Margin pressure and rich valuation near-term concerns for Pidilite

Pidilite Industries (Pidilite) posted good numbers in the June quarter (Q1), with comparable consolidated topline and net profit growing 23 per cent and 6.3 per cent year-on-year, to Rs 18.2 billion and Rs 2.4 billion, respectively. READ MORE

Top losers in BSE 500:

COMPANY PRICE() CHG() CHG(%)
UFLEX 306.20 -16.10 -5.00
KWALITY 20.99 -1.10 -4.98
SECURITY & INTEL 1058.95 -45.80 -4.15
INTERGLOBE AVIAT 932.50 -37.05 -3.82
SPICEJET 78.40 -2.90 -3.57
» More on Top Losers
JSW Steel hits new high; market-cap nears Rs 1-trillion

Shares of JSW Steel hit a new high of Rs 409, up 2%, extending its Wednesday’s 9% surge on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), after the announcement of its entry in Nifty 50 index from September 28. READ MORE
Markets at noon

Index Current Pt. Change % Change
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 38,684.02 -38.91 -0.10
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 50 12,227.68 -12.91 -0.11
 
S&P BSE SENSEX Next 50 35,541.90 +194.86 +0.55
 
S&P BSE 100 12,008.42 -0.72 -0.01
 
S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index 3,730.96 +12.74 +0.34

Hindustan National Glass zooms 53% in three days on debt resolution plan
 
Hindustan National Glass & Industries was locked in upper circuit of 20% for the second straight session at Rs 127 on the BSE after the company announced the resolution plan/compromise offer for the settlement of dues.
 
In the past three days, the stock has zoomed 53% from Rs 83 on August 27, 2018, as compared 0.5% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex. READ MORE
Nifty Bank index falls over 0.5%; top losers in the pack


Greaves Cotton to acquire electric vehicle company Ampere; stock surges 12%
 
Shares of Greaves Cotton hit a 52-week high of Rs 165 per share, up 12% on the BSE in an otherwise rang bound market after the company said it will acquire a majority stake in Coimbatore-based electric vehicle (EV) company Ampere Vehicles.
 
The stock was trading close to its all-time high of Rs 178 touched on May 4, 2017, on the BSE in intra-day trade. READ MORE
IDBI Bank to file insolvency case against Reliance Naval with NCLT
 
IDBI Bank will file insolvency applications against Reliance Naval and Engineering (R-Naval) with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Bench in Ahmedabad in the next few days.
 
This is a sequel to the Reserve Bank of India’s 180-day general deadline to resolve around 70 large stressed corporate accounts having ended this Monday, said two sources. READ MORE
Airline shares extend fall as oil prices rise
 
Shares of airline companies have fallen up to 5% on the BSE in early morning trade on Thursday, extending their Wednesday’s decline on rise in crude oil prices.
 
InterGlobe Aviation (IndiGo), Jet Airways and SpiceJet were trading in the range of 3% to 5%, as compared to a marginal 0.1% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex. All these stocks are trading near to their respective 52-week lows, had fallen up to 6% on yesterday. READ MORE
UTI MF case: T Rowe Price shares reason to hold back court petition for now
 
The US-based asset manager T Rowe Price withdrew its writ petition in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday with the right to re-file it at a future date.
 
In a response to Business Standard, Edward Giltenan, official spokesperson for T Rowe Price, said, “We now have increasing confidence that they (PSU shareholders) are taking steps to comply with Indian law and regulations regarding divestment of their stakes in UTI and moving towards an eventual IPO of the firm.” READ MORE
ICICI Bank tells Sebi it was unaware of conflict of interest
 
ICICI Bank has denied charges of violation of disclosure norms levelled against it by the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Responding to a Sebi show cause notice issued on May 23, the bank said it was not aware of the alleged conflict of interest situation and hence couldn’t make any disclosures required under the listing regulations, it is learnt. READ MORE
Maket check

Index Current Pt. Change % Change
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 38,679.32 -43.61 -0.11
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 50 12,224.54 -16.05 -0.13
 
S&P BSE SENSEX Next 50 35,393.13 +46.09 +0.13
 
S&P BSE 100 11,998.14 -11.00 -0.09
 
S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index 3,722.97 +4.75 +0.13

Analysts cautious on road construction stocks despite govt's infra push
 
Construction of roads across the country has yet again assumed importance with the latest Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) annual report for 2017 – 18 expecting the Indian economy to look up further going ahead, aided partly by infrastructure spending.
 
The government’s focus over the past few years, according to A K Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital, has been on infrastructure, especially roads and rail. Companies, he says, have also benefitted from the new contract awarding system – the hybrid annuity model (HAM) – that ensures the capital is not stuck for a long duration in a particular project. READ MORE


INTERVIEW OF THE DAY Few stocks going up due to flight to safety, says MD of Sundaram MF
 
Inflows into equity mutual funds (MFs) have continued to remain strong in recent days. Sunil Subramaniam, MD of Sundaram MF, says fund managers are deploying incremental liquidity into select large caps. Subramaniam spoke to Samie Modak ahead of the launch of the new fund offer (NFO) of Sundaram Services Fund. Read full interview here

(Photo courtesy: myrokra.com)

Nifty sectoral trend


BSE Sensex opening gainers and losers


Market at open
 
At 9:15 AM, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 38,740, up 17 points while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 11,691, up 1 point.
Rupee Alert

Rupee opens at record low of Rs 70.62 against US Dollar
Markets at Pre-open

Index Current Pt. Change % Change
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 38,981.96 +259.03 +0.67
 
S&P BSE SENSEX 50 12,302.65 +62.06 +0.51
 
S&P BSE SENSEX Next 50 35,450.00 +102.96 +0.29
 
S&P BSE 100 12,063.00 +53.86 +0.45
 
S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index 3,732.17 +13.95 +0.38

MARKET COMMENT Hemang Jani, Head - Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas

Indian markets closed in the red with the Nifty 50 index falling 46 points to end the day at 11,692. Overall market sentiments continue to look positive however short term concerns remain such as the Indian rupee hitting a new low of 70.57 and rise in oil prices which will keep equity markets volatile in the short term. A weaker rupee will help exporters especially IT and pharma players and is likely to boost margins in the coming quaters.

The consumption as a theme will do very well in the coming quarters, with demand revival to coming  from both rural as well as urban areas . Some of our preferred picks from the consumption sector is Hindustan Unilever and Bata India. Overall we continue to remain positive on the market and feel that  any correction should be used to buy into quality companies
SMC Global's market outlook for today

Today the markets are likely to open on flat note. All the emerging markets are trading mixed. The coming session is likely to witness a range of 11600 on declines and 11800 on advances.
Indiabulls Ventures on City Union Bank (CUB)

For the year FY19, the Management has guided for 18 – 20% growth rate on its loan book and 16% ROE. We believe the management will continue to achieve its
guidance as a result we would like to allot a premium valuation.

CUB is currently trading at 2.3x FY20 P/BV and looking at its historical trend; we would like to allot a P/BV of 3x on FY20 basis on an FY20 BV of Rs. 85 to arrive at a target price of Rs. 255.
Nifty outlook by Tradebulls Securities:
 
Nifty has been crawling throughout the current month but has managed to keeps its float about 11,500 & inched higher towards 11,800 marks. Out of last 15 trading sessions it has witnessed 11 sessions with narrow ranged action with 7 Doji formations throughout the course. It has been respecting its 5 days EMA & has ensured a close above the same throughout and a close below the same could signify exhaustion of the existing run. Index has been trading in close proximity to its upper end of rising channel resistance around 11,780 and a breach higher is unlikely in the coming sessions hence expect moderate upside with bouts of sharp intraday corrections
Currency trading strategy by Nirmal Bang

On the daily chart, USDINR has made a sizable bullish candle indicating the positive biasness in the pair. 70.3100 will act as an important support in the pair with 71 as a resistance. It is currently trading above all it’s important daily moving averages on the daily chart. An open above 70.50 can lead further bullish momentum toward 71.0000-71.2000 levels
Nomura on auto sector

Aug-18 automotive volume growth is likely to remain subdued across segments due to a delayed festive season in FY19. West Bengal (~5% of 2W sales) has also seen disruption due to licences being made mandatory for the purchase of 2Ws.

Floods in Kerala could have an impact on sales, especially for PVs and 2Ws. Within our coverage, Maruti Suzuki and Royal Enfield volumes could see a worse than expected impact due to high exposure to Kerala.
Corporate News 
 
·         Reliance Infrastructure board approved 100% sale of integrated Mumbai power business to Adani Transmission.
 
·         Aditya Birla Capital and Varde Partners create a joint venture to invest in stressed assets in India.
 
·         Laurus Labs received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval for Metformin Hydrochloride tablets, which are used for treatment of diabetes. 
 
·         Greaves Cotton board has approved acquiring 67% stake in Ampere Vehicles Pvt. for Rs 77 crore, with an option of acquiring another 13% stake in the electric vehicle company for Rs 75.5 crore. 
 
·         ICICI Prudential Life Insurance reduced its stake in Tata Chemicals from 5.02% to 2.97%.
 
·         National Fertilizers signed memorandum of agreement with Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited to market the latter’s product including 12.71 LMT of urea under its brand ‘Kisan’.
 
·         Jain Irrigation said that it has received a contract worth Rs 127 crore from the Rwandan government for developing irrigation and watershed facilities.
 
·         Jet Airways introduced 28 new flights in September to enhance domestic connectivity. 


(Source: IIFL report)
F&O watch

Indian markets is enjoying a purple patch as sentiment and flows in favor, as investors exhibiting higher appetite for index heavy weight stocks. Nifty saw big leap forward after marching past previous highs above 11.1k mark. On eoe basis (D-1), Nifty/BankNifty gained ~5.1/4.4%. Series highlights include a) Massive sector churning seen within index stocks b) INR to dollar pair at record high levels c) Options writers scrambling to cover shorts options positioning.

Rolls for Nifty were significantly higher than prior month at 53% (1.84cr shares) vs 50.9% (1.47cr shares) higher than 3M average of 49% (1.51cr). Bank Nifty rolls stood at 44% vs 51% (10.6lacs shares) lower than 3m average of 50% (11.9 lacs shares). Market-wide rolls stood at 68% in line with previous months. 
 
For today, expiry likely to be smooth in range of 11700 to 11750 mark. Lower rollover in banking stocks and BankNifty’s relative underperformance to Nifty likely to be key trend decider for traders in near term. Sharp drop in open interest was seen on ICICI bank while SBI saw increase in OI with price action positive suggest long positions being carried forward
 
MARKET COMMENT Amar Ambani, head of research, IIFL

A bout of selling towards close dragged indices lower. Weakness in banks, energy, infra and IT weighed on the market. The F&O expiry will keep investors cautious at these levels. Expect another choppy day of trade after a quiet start. Hopes of a trade deal with Canada bolstered US markets. Nasdaq and S&P ended at a record high while Dow closed at multi-month highs.

The Reserve Bank of India in its annual report projected India's GDP growth at 7.4 pc for FY19-20. This growth will be driven by rural and urban consumption, investment and exports. It also noted that India remained a preferred destination for FDI, with over USD 37bn inflows in FY18. The rupee nosedived to an all-time low of 70.59 against the dollar. Moody's has announced that India might breach the 3.3pc fiscal deficit target this fiscal year as higher oil prices can add to short-term pressures.
Top trading ideas by Prabhudas Lilladher:
 
BUY ITC
CMP: Rs 312.80
TARGET: Rs 345
STOP LOSS: Rs 298
 
The stock has given a decent rally from the levels of 260 and recently has been consolidating around 310 levels for some time gathering strength and has potential to give a further rally from here on. The chart looks attractive and with the indicators looking promising a positive bias has been maintained and we anticipate the stock to continue with the positive uptrend. With good decent consistent volume participation witnessed, we recommend a buy in this stock for an upside target of 345 keeping a stop loss of 298.

Click here for more
Nifty outlook by Prabhudas Lilladher:
 
Market ahead of expiry gets volatile with Nifty below 11,700, now having a near term support at 11,600 levels. Bank Nifty though not correcting yet not participating to propel an up move. The support for the day is seen at 38,470/11,620 while resistance is seen at 38,940/11,750. Bank Nifty has a range of 27,970-28,450. Bank Nifty though range bound, we have a positive view with 27,900 as near term support for higher targets of 28,500 and above. Metal sector as recommended earlier would continue to do well, Tata Steel, Nalco, hind zinc look promising from here on. PSU Banks are back in action.
India's economy seen growing at steady 7.6% pace in April-June: Reuters poll
 
According to a Reuters poll, India likely grew 7.6 percent in the April-June quarter, propelled in part by an improvement in manufacturing and exports. The poll results suggest domestic demand was strong, driven primarily by manufacturing activity that remained solid despite elevated oil prices and a weakening Indian rupee.
 
India is now “seeing good momentum in manufacturing. Corporate results for April-June quarter have corroborated the improving demand conditions in the economy,” said Shubhada Rao, chief economist at Yes Bank. 
Rupee slides 49 paise to end at record low of 70.59 against dollar
 
The rupee yesterday plunged to all-time low of 70.65 to the US dollar in day trade on heavy month-end dollar demand from importers and foreign capital outflows. The local currency dropped by 49 paise or 0.70 per cent to close at 70.59 to the dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market, logging its biggest single-day drop since August 13 when it nosedived 110 paise or 1.6 per cent.
SGX Nifty
 
Trends on SGX Nifty indicate a positive opening for the broader index in India, a rise of 22 points or 0.19 per cent. Nifty futures were trading around 11,726-level on the Singaporean Exchange.
Oil prices edge up on decline in US fuel inventories, looming Iran sanctions
 
Oil prices inched up on Thursday, extending solid gains from the previous session on a fall in US crude inventories and expected disruptions to supply from Iran and Venezuela.
 
International Brent crude oil futures were at $77.21 per barrel, up 7 cents from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 14 cents at $69.65 a barrel. 
Asia stocks rise on trade optimism
 
Asian stocks rose on Thursday as Wall Street hit record highs in the hope that the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations will lead to a further easing of global trade tensions
 
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan nudged up 0.1 per cent. Australian stocks added 0.15 per cent, and Japan's Nikkei rose to a three-month high, last trading up 0.45 per cent. South Korea's KOSPI was little changed.
Wall Street extends rally, tech leads S&P, Nasdaq to record highs
 
Wall Street extended its rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hitting record highs for the fourth straight session as technology companies pushed indexes higher and promising trade negotiations stoked investor sentiment.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.55 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 26,124.57, the S&P 500 gained 16.52 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 2,914.04 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.65 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 8,109.69.
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