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Indices may open flat to slightly higher
22-Dec-17   08:45 Hrs IST

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could gain 2.90 points at the opening bell tracking firm Asian stocks.

Overseas, most Asian stocks rose after positive close for US stocks overnight. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet endorsed on Friday a record $860 billion spending budget for fiscal 2018, highlighting his greater emphasis on growth than austerity, with aggressive monetary stimulus keeping borrowing costs low.

US stock-market indexes closed modestly higher yesterday, 21 December 2017, driven by gains in the energy, financials and telecom sectors.

On economic data front, the US economy's pace of growth in the third quarter was lowered slightly to a 3.2% annual rate from 3.3% under the government's final revision to gross domestic product. The economy expanded at a 3.1% rate in the second quarter. Separately, initial jobless claims rose a higher-than-expected 20,000 in the latest week, though they remain at historically low levels.

On the upside, the Philadelphia Fed's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey jumped to a reading of 26.2 in December from 22.7.

Oil futures ended a choppy trading session with modest gains as market participants weighed signs of robust demand versus the specter of rising US production. Brent crude he global benchmark, rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $64.90 a barrel.

Back home, key benchmark indices settled marginally lower after a range bound trade yesterday, 21 December 2017, amid subdued global cues. The Sensex fell 21.10 points or 0.06% to settle at 33,756.28, its lowest closing level since 18 December 2017.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 383.99 crore yesterday, 21 December 2017, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1574.30 crore yesterday, 21 December 2017, as per provisional data.

Among corporate news, HDFC announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to transfer its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform; and, HDFC Developers (which runs the HDFC RED platform) to Quikr, India's market leader in digital classified business. HDFC has also acquired an equity stake in Quikr India. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 21 December 2017.

HDFC Realty is HDFC's offline brokerage business with a presence across residential and commercial properties as well as consulting and valuation services. RED is an online real estate classifieds platform with 7,000 project listings on its platform. It generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month.

With 30 million monthly users, Quikr is India's largest classifieds platform that runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services and goods. Its real estate vertical 'Quikr Homes' generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors. The company has rapidly established itself as a leader in digital real estate.

Post integration of HDFC Realty and RED, Quikr will become India's leading online-to-offline real estate platform, and offer consumers end-to-end home buying services.

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