May 2018
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Sensex, Nifty may open flat tracking Asia, G20 impasse on trade
(Mumbai, march,19,2017):Indian share markets on Monday may open flat or even lower tracking Asian bourses as investors factor in rising protectionism after the G20 failed to agree on free trade even though they reiterated their resolve to avoid competitive currency devaluation.

On Friday, the Sensex closed up 63 points or 0.2% at 29,649 while Nifty was marginally higher at 9,160 on hopes of Goods and Services Tax roll out from July. The GST council has approved all the five draft rules, which will now be taken up at the Cabinet and then by Parliament for discussion and passage.

Asian markets were marginally down on Monday tracking a weakness in Wall Street and as the G20 failed to agree on free trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan was down slightly. The Hang Seng and Strait Times were flat while Kospi was down 0.5%. Japanese markets are closed for a holiday.

The dollar was little changed against major currencies days after the Federal Reserve signalled a less hawkish stance than what markets were expecting.

Against a basket of six currencies, the dollar traded around 100.30 after sliding to fiveweek low on Friday. The euro was traded at around $1.074 after hitting a sixweek peak of $1.0782 on Friday even though political uncertainties continue in EU especially France.

Ahead of the presidential elections due in April 23, opinion polls show farright leader Marine Le Pen close to centrist Emmanuel Macron.

On Saturday, financial leaders from the world’s 20 powerful economies under the G20 grouping maintained common ground on foreign exchange but failed to agree on trade, triggering fears of protectionism that will keep investors cautious this week.

The G20 reiterated the warnings against competitive currency devaluations and disorderly foreign exchange markets. But the failure to agree on free trade may have negative consequences for financial markets in the coming days.

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