RTTNews - Monday, the Indian market is set to open lower on the back of weak overseas cues. While Wall Street ended Friday's session modestly lower following the release of a report showing a decline in U.S. consumer sentiment and a profit warning from Chevron, the major European markets lost over 1% each, as heavily weighted energy stocks slipped on declining crude oil prices and investors were worried about forthcoming corporate earnings.

Currently, the markets across the Asia-Pacific region are trading mostly lower on Monday amid a negative lead from Wall Street and concerns about delay in a China-Taiwan trade agreement.

Back home, though industrial output rose the most since October 2008 in May, analysts said that robust growth will take more time. With pre-budget expectations wearing off, concerns about stretched valuations and scanty monsoon are likely to weigh on investor sentiment. India's monsoon advanced rapidly and covered the entire country by July3, but conditions are still far from normal.

On the other hand, short covering in front-line index stocks, any positive trigger from corporate results and buying by FIIs if any, may offer some support. After investing a net Rs.35,000 crore between March 13 and July 7, FIIs sold shares worth Rs.4,680 crore last week, according to NSE data. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday dispelled fears about the high fiscal deficit projected in the budget and said that government borrowing will not impact the private sector.

Crude oil dropped below $60 per barrel on Friday after the latest International Energy Agency report backed lingering demand concerns. In Asian trading on Monday, the commodity was last trading unchanged near an eight-week low on weak demand outlook.

The Indian market plunged last week on concerns about a ballooning fiscal deficit after the packaging of the Union Budget and missing road maps disappointed investors. Unwinding of short-term positions built in run-up to the budget and weak global cues also dragged the benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty by around 10% each. The BSE small-cap index fell 10.14% and the mid-cap index tumbled 9.03% for the week.

Stocks to Watch

To expand its global network, Kingfisher Airlines decided to launch eight new international routes from September. It also announced the suspension of its services on Bangalore-London and Bangalore-Colombo routes from September 15, while launching two new flights on Mumbai-Singapore and
Mumbai-Hong Kong sectors from the next day.

Japanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo's open offer for an additional 20 per cent stake in pharma firm Zenotech Laboratories would begin on July 15 and close on August 3, Zenotech, an affiliate of Ranbaxy Laboratories, said in a filing to the stock exchanges.

The cut in customs duty on bio-diesel will not benefit the Indian companies, but at least open up market for South East Asian imports., Praj Industries managing director and chief executive officer Shashank Inamdar quoted to have said.

According to reports, Hotel Leela Venture plans to invest Rs.2,200 crore to complete two new hotels in Delhi and Chennai by the end of 2009. Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) plans five joint ventures in the nuclear sector and locomotive manufacturing.

Dabur plans to buy Wockhardts' health supplement brands Protinex and Farex, reports suggest. Essar Oil will cut petrol and diesel prices in the range of Rs 0.50 to Rs 2.50 a litre from July 16 to bring them at par with falling global oil prices, media said.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) on Sunday signed an agreement with the Chhattisgarh government for setting up a 4000-Mw power project in the state.

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