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Union Budget 2018-19 to dictate trend
01-Feb-18   07:46 Hrs IST

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 30 points at the opening bell on positive global cues.

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget for the financial year 2018-19 today, 1 February 2018, in parliament. The Union Budget 2018-19 is the last full-year Budget of the NDA government, as the general elections are due in 2019. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will outline the government's priorities for the next fiscal year.

The market expects the government to continue following the path of fiscal consolidation. Investors are also expecting changes in the direct tax structure including income tax. Infrastructure is also expected to be a priority in the budget. Apart from the major reforms, several economists are urging the government to cut corporate tax rates in order to make the Indian industries competitive on a global level.

Overseas, Asian shares were trading higher, tracking gains seen on Wall Street following the Federal Reserve's decision to keep rates unchanged.

US stocks closed slightly higher in the last session. The US Federal Reserve announced it was holding rates steady, a move that was widely expected. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) also said it expected inflation pressure to pick up as the year progressed.

Meanwhile, private-sector employment was strong in January, as employers added 234,000 jobs, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported Wednesday.

Closer home, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 136.63 crore yesterday, 31 January 2018, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1294.66 crore yesterday, 31 January 2018, as per provisional data.

Among corporate news, ICICI Bank reported 32.42% slide in net profit to Rs 1650.24 crore on 4.12% fall in total income to Rs 16832.22 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 31 January 2018.

Net profit of NTPC declined 4.39% to Rs 2360.81 crore on 7.11% rise in net sales to Rs 20774.37 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 31 January 2018.

Consolidated net profit of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) rose 48.41% to Rs 1617.88 crore on 10.10% rise in net sales to Rs 28747.45 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 31 January 2018.

Domestic stocks drifted lower to hit over one-week closing lows yesterday, 31 January 2018, as investors remained cautious ahead of the Union Budget 2018-19. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 68.71 points or 0.19% to settle at 35,965.02. The Nifty 50 index fell 21.95 points or 0.2% to settle at 11,027.70.

On the macro front, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday revised the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2015-16 to 8.2% from the earlier estimates of 8% and kept the 2016-17 growth unchanged at 7.1%. The real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for the years 2016-17 and 2015-16 stood at Rs 121.96 lakh crore and Rs 113.86 lakh crore, respectively, showing growth of 7.1% during 2016-17 and 8.2% during 2015-16.

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