Indian shares look set to open slightly higher on Friday after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Thursday cleared all draft bills of GST legislations required for marking a big step forward in India’s plans for a countrywide rollout of the new tax regime from July.
The bills will now have to be cleared by Parliament and state assemblies. Firm cues from Asia and the dollar’s continuous slide in forex markets may also support underlying sentiment.
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Asian stocks are mostly higher this morning and the dollar is on track to post a weekly loss of more than 1 percent, while oil prices rose slightly after closing modestly lower overnight.
On the economic front, reports on housing, manufacturing and labor market proved to be a mixed bag. The Dow dropped 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 slid 0.2 percent while the Nasdaq Composite closed marginally higher.
European stocks hit 15-month highs on Thursday as investors took in stride the Fed’s 25 bps interest rate hike and Dutch voters rejected an anti-Islam candidate in national elections, blunting a populist surge across Europe. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.7 percent.
Back home, the benchmark index BSE Sensex rose 0.6 percent on Thursday while the Nifty index climbed 0.8 percent to close at a record high.
The rupee continued its winning streak for the fourth straight session to end up 28 paise at a fresh 16-month high of 65.41 per dollar, buoyed by encouraging exports data and heavy foreign capital inflows amid hopes that the BJP’s win in state elections will facilitate further reforms.
Nasdaq, 16 March 2017