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Stocks may open higher; GST Council meeting eyed

·2-min read

SGX Nifty:

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 52 points at the opening bell.

All eyes will be glued to the 43rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting later in the day. After nearly eight months, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the meeting via video conferencing at 11 am. The GST Council is likely to discuss a reduction in the tax rate on Covid medicines, vaccines and medical equipment as well as means to make up for the shortfall in revenues promised to states.

Meanwhile, the government is reportedly planning a stimulus package and direct, immediate relief for sectors such as hospitality and Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME), which are India's biggest employers and have been battered by COVID-19.

Global markets:

Overseas, Asian stocks are trading higher on Friday after solid U.S. economic data and President Joe Biden's federal spending plans spurred a rally on Wall Street in cyclical shares.

U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday, as data showing improvement in the labor market helped bolster expectations in the economic recovery and spurred a minor rotation towards stocks seen as more likely to benefit from the rebound.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled their $928 billion infrastructure counteroffer to President Joe Biden's $1.7 trillion proposal. Republicans again rejected Biden's call to raise corporate taxes, contending they could cover infrastructure costs with funds already allocated by Congress or with transportation user fees.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped more than expected last week as layoffs subsided. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 406,000 for the week ended May 22, the Labor Department said. That was the lowest since mid-March 2020 and kept claims below 500,000 for three straight weeks.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department left its initial estimate on first-quarter gross domestic product unchanged at 6.4%

Domestic markets:

Back home, equity indices ended a volatile session with small gains on Thursday. The S&P BSE Sensex, rose 97.70 points or 0.19% at 51,115.22. The Nifty 50 index gained 36.40 points or 0.24% at 15,337.85, its record closing high level.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 660.90 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net buyers to the tune of Rs 112.38 crore in the Indian equity market on 27 May, provisional data showed.


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