Opening Bell 5 December

Opening Bell 5 December

New Delhi: It is decision time for the European Union. European Central Bank will take a decision on interest rates cut this week. European Union leaders, on the other hand, will hold a summit to lay out plans to enforce stricter budget rules. It has to be seen how much progress the policy makers will make.

News flow from the US is encouraging. Unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009 as the economy added 120,000 jobs in November. Economists are hopeful that the services industrymight have expanded at the fastest pace in six months.

Stock markets in the US were little changed on Friday as investors awaited more economic data. S&P 500 at 1,244 closed marginally down by 0.02%.

Meanwhile, Asian markets opened on a positive note. Asian markets got buying support after the Italian cabinet approved €30 billion worth of austerity and growth measures. Prime Minister Mario Monti will present the austerity package to parliament on Monday, reports Reuters.

Back home, expect action to continue in the retail stocks. The government’s silence on Mamata Banerjee’s claim that FDI in retail decision was put on hold is stoking fears of rollback of the proposal.

Keep an eye on Aptech stock. According to The Times of India report, billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwalas looking to sell his stake in the company. Jhunjhunwala holds a 35.79%stake in the company.

Tata Steel has temporarily shut down its hot strip steel mill at South Wales in UK. The company mothballed the unit due to weak demand and deteriorating economic outlook, reports The Wall Street Journal. The mill has an annual steel production capacity of three million tons.

Keep an eye on Ashok Leyland stock. The company reported a 53.36% jump in commercial vehicle sales to 7,878 units in November. Same month last year the company sold 5,137 units. Read the NDTV Profit report.

DLFhas signed an agreement to divest its stake in Galaxy Mercantilefor 450 crore, reports Business Standard. Galaxy Mercantile is a joint venture company between DLF Home Developers and IDFC.

Despite adverse macro-economic environment, IndusInd Bank is hopeful of registering 25-30% growth in advances in the current financial year. In September quarter, the bank posted a 29%growth in its loan book. Read the Business Standard report.

Tilaknagar Industries is in talks with a large European liquor company to form a joint venture in India. The foreign partner, who is keen to enter the Indian market, is likely to hold an equal stake in the venture.

Reliance Infrastructure is looking to bid for overseas projects. According to The Economic Times report, the company is looking to bid for road projects in Turkey and Vietnam.

As part of the restructuring exercise, NTPC may wind up one affiliate and exit a joint venture with European company Alstom SA. The company is considering closing NTPC Hydro, as suggested by consultant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India.

Finally, in a startling revelation, experts have said that more than one in 10 banknotes in circulation in Britain has traces of cocaine. Authorities suspect that long pub hours might be leading to high usage of cocaine among 20 something men. Read The Guardian report.