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Opening Bell 22 March | Weak euro zone data, Cyprus weigh on markets

Asian markets trading lower following lingering uncertainty about the situation in Cyprus
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First Published: Fri, Mar 22 2013. 08 02 AM IST
A file photo of the BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Mint
A file photo of the BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Mint
Mumbai: US markets ended lower on Thursday, clocking their biggest drop in nearly a month, pressured by weak euro-zone economic data, escalating worries over Cyprus bailout, and disappointment with Oracle Corp.’s quarterly earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 0.8% and 0.9% each. The euro zone composite Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 47.9 in February to 46.5 in March.
Asian markets were trading lower following weak cues from Wall Street and lingering uncertainty about the situation in Cyprus. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average plunged over 1% on back of a rising yen, as the new Bank of Japan governor offered details on future policy, reports MarketWatch. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite were trading marginally lower.
In India, SKS Microfinance Ltd may remain under pressure after the Andhra Pradesh government said it would challenge the Supreme Court’s recent interim order, allowing the company to resume operations in the state, reports Mint. According to the Supreme Court’s order, SKS has to adhere to two key sections of the AP Act relating to interest rate and recovery practice clauses.
Wipro Ltd will be in focus following reports that it has won a $200 million contract from Catholic Health Initiatives, the biggest healthcare outsourcing order, reports Mint. Wipro will manage computer systems, networks, data centres and servers for more than three years for Catholic Health Initiative in the United States.
ICICI Bank Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd chief executives have offered immunity to staff who expose unfair practices and violation of guidelines by colleagues, even as RBI has dismissed money-laundering allegations made by a sting operation, reports Economic Times. Last week, some of the banks’ employees were caught on camera advising clients on avoiding taxes.
PSU shares may see some action following a Business Standard report that the government may soon review the timelines given to public sector undertakings for investing surplus cash to increase investment flow to the infrastructure sector.
ONGC Ltd may continue to see some action after the company said that it has made new oil and gas discoveries in eastern and northeastern India and will invest more than Rs.4,050 crore in revamping some of its western offshore facilities, reports Wall Street Journal India.
Jet Airways Ltd and SpiceJet Ltd will be in the limelight after the civil aviation minister said existing airlines and private aircraft owners no longer need government approval to import planes. These companies will now only need to get approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Lastly, the Prime Minister sought to distance his government from the CBI raid at DMK leader M.K. Stalin’s home just two days after the regional party, pulled out of the ruling United Progressive Alliance on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils. The PM also said the timing of the raid was unfortunate and the government had nothing to do with it.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 22 2013. 08 02 AM IST
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