Indian markets could open flat in line with mixed Asian markets today and despite lower US markets on Wednesday, said Deepak Jasani, Head-Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
Nifty rose for the third consecutive day on March 30, led by a broad-based rally in sectors even as crude oil prices clawed back after Russia gave an indication of de-escalation in hostilities. At close, Nifty was up 1 percent or 172.9 points at 17,498.
Nifty has picked momentum over the past three days as hopes of an end to the war kept rising. However, Nifty closed with a high wave pattern sign, which post a fall below the low of the day could give bearish signal. Weakness in European and US markets could halt the upmove in the Nifty. Nifty could stay in the 17343-17582 band in the near term.
Asian stocks weak
Shares weakened in China and Hong Kong following data showing contraction in Chinese manufacturing, while Japan’s equities steadied. Australia and South Korea advanced.
US stocks close lower
US stock benchmarks finished lower in choppy trade Wednesday, as investors reassessed potential progress between Russia and Ukraine negotiators and heard more hawkish tones from the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 posted 44 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 47 new lows.
Stocks slipped and oil prices pushed higher Wednesday after Russian forces shelled areas around Kyiv and another Ukrainian city overnight, just hours after it pledged to “fundamentally” cut back operations in the areas.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said improvements on the vaccination front, treatments and more means the COVID-19 pandemic “no longer controls our lives,” in a speech, while unveiling a new website that aims to help Americans deal with the pandemic.
In US economic data, the. fourth-quarter gross domestic product growth was revised to an annualized 6.9 percent from 7 percent. Meanwhile, ADP said the private sector added 455,000 jobs in March.
President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve, according to two people familiar with the decision, in a bid to control energy prices that have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Chile's central bank hikes interest rates
Chile's central bank hiked the benchmark rate by 150 basis points to 7 percent, short of the increase of between 7.25 percent and 7.5 percent expected by markets. The bank on Wednesday cut its 2022 GDP growth estimate to 1.0 percent-2.0 percent from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent-2.5 percent in December.
China factory activity contracts in March
China's factory activity contracted in March as the economy faced renewed downward pressures from stringent COVID-19 controls, an official survey showed on Thursday. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.5 in March from 50.2 in February. Growth in the services sector faltered in March, with the official non-manufacturing PMI in March easing to 48.4 from 51.6 in February, as virus containment measures hit consumer confidence. China's official composite PMI, which combined manufacturing and services, stood at 48.8 in March compared with 51.2 in February.