Sensex Set For Lacklustre Start, Bharti Airtel


The BSE Sensex and the broader Nifty are likely to open flat on Thursday tracking subdued trading in global stock markets. The Nifty futures trading on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) were up 2 points or 0.02 per cent as of 08.40 a.m., indicating a flat start for domestic equities.Foreign institutional investors bought cash shares worth Rs 405 crore on Wednesday, taking their monthly tally to over $1.2 billion, which has been a big factor in the 4 per cent gain in the Nifty this month.The Sensex and Nifty are likely to get support from positive developments around the crucial Goods and Services Tax or GST reform as the government last night cleared substantial changes to the proposal to win support from opposition parties including the Congress, which has so far blocked the proposal.

Based on consensus among majority states and the Congress, the cabinet has cancelled a 1 per cent inter-state tax which had been sanctioned for states that manufacture foods.Quarterly earnings will continue to be closely tracked by investors. Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom network operator, reported a 31 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday. Consolidated net profit fell to Rs 1,462 crore in Q1, better than Reuters estimate of Rs 1,159 crore.Companies that report numbers today include Eicher Motors, Bluedart, Ceat, Dish TV, Hexaware and public sector lenders Punjab National Bank and Syndicate Bank.Meanwhile, Asian stocks were choppy after the Federal Reserve provided an positive assessment of the world’s largest economy and lifted risk sentiment. Asia was unable to take a strong lead from Wall Street, where shares ended little changed overnight following the Fed’s policy decision to leave interest rates unchanged.It did say, however, that near-term risks to the US economic outlook had diminished, opening the door for a potential near-term hike in the eyes of many.The Fed’s latest policy statement spurred traders to favour longer-dated US Treasuries over shorter-dated issues, pushing the yields on 10-year notes and 30-year bonds to 1-1/2-week lows as prices rose.

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