Sensex gains 42 points in opening trade

Sensex
The BSE benchmark Sensex gained over 42 points in early trade today on buying in stocks of consumer durables, oil and gas and capital goods amid a firming Asian trend.

The 30-share barometer rose by 42.04 points, or 0.21 per cent to 19,937.02. The index had lost 110.02 points in the previous session.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 11.35 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6,046.10.

Brokers said fresh buying by funds in select stocks, having strong fundamentals and a firming trend in Asian region mainly influenced the sentiment.

Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 0.14 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei gained 0.63 per cent in opening trade today. However, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.36 per cent lower in yesterday's trade.

Stocks to watch-Feb 1

GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange was down 0.1 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index, excluding Japan fell 0.07 percent.

Asian shares wiped earlier gains on Friday as a tepid Chinese manufacturing report dented sentiment, leaving investors on tenterhooks ahead of U.S. nonfarm payroll data due later in the day.

U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday on caution ahead of Friday's all-important jobs report, but the S&P 500 still posted its best monthly gain since October 2011. FACTORS TO WATCH

Earnings: Bharti Airtel Ltd, Jet Airways India Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and IDFC Ltd.

The government aims to sell about $575 million in shares sale in Oil India Ltd. The base price has been set at a 5.6 percent discount to its share price.

Manufacturing PMI for January.

INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

FINANCIAL/REGULATORY

India's fiscal deficit during the April-December period was 4.07 trillion rupees ($76.22 billion), or 78.8 percent of the budgeted full fiscal year 2012/13 target, government data showed on Thursday.

India's finance minister is putting welfare, defence and road projects on the chopping block in a last-ditch attempt to hit a tough fiscal deficit target by March, risking short-term economic growth and angering cabinet colleagues.

The Indian government is likely to raise 270 billion rupees ($5.06 billion) through the sale of its stake in state-run companies, 10 percent lower than the initial target for the current fiscal year ending in March, Disinvestment Secretary Ravi Mathur told reporters on Thursday.

Axis Bank Ltd said on Thursday it has raised a total of 55.4 billion rupees ($1.04 billion) through the sale of shares, in the biggest equity deal in more than a month in Asia's third-largest economy.

India's central bank tightened rules on Thursday governing how banks and other financial institutions provision for restructured loans, based on the recommendations of a panel.

ENERGY/COMMODITIES

India's infrastructure sector output grew 2.6 percent in December from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday.

ONGC Videsh Ltd is set to battle it out with Asian rivals from China and Thailand as well as some of the biggest global names for Videocon Industries Ltd's 10 percent stake in Mozambique's Rovuma offshore block, at least four people aware of the developments said.

Separately ONGC Videsh, a unit of explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd, will launch its first overseas bond issue in February to raise about $900 million to fund an acquisition in Azerbaijan.

Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd are gearing up to cater to the lucrative bulk-sales market for diesel, where the government has allowed free-market pricing.

Cairn India Ltd will start the second phase of its Sri Lankan oil exploration programme this week with the drilling of a fourth well and will decide the commercial viability of the project by 2014, a company official said on Thursday. Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd's October-December net profit fell 39.9 percent to 175 million rupees from a year earlier.

AIRLINES

Japan's All Nippon Airways Co Ltd (ANA) has reportedly held talks with GoAir and Spicejet Ltd for a stake purchase, sources close to the development said.

Etihad Airways, which is widely expected to buy up to 24 percent stake in Jet Airways India Ltd, could get equal board representation in the Indian company, people close to the development said.

INDUSTRIALS

Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Co Ltd has offered to sell 26 percent of its equity and the board will soon meet to decide on the buyer, a source involved with the negotiations said.

The Calcutta High Court has ordered the winding up of tyre maker Dunlop India Ltd after years of battling debts and litigations.

RETAIL

Wal-mart Stores Inc and the U.S. government have conveyed their concern over India's move to let states decide on the entry of global supermarkets, The Times of India reported citing unidentified sources.

Trent Ltd's October-December net profit rose 48.9 percent to 209.9 million rupees from a year ago.

IT

Satyam Computer Services Ltd handily beat expectations with a 20.6 percent rise in third-quarter profit before a one-off loss.

PROPERTY

Sobha Developers Ltd' October-December net profit rose 28.7 percent to 516 million rupees from a year ago.

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