Markets likely to be higher, Modi meets Trump at G-20 summit

  • Asian markets edged northward early on Friday morning
  • Shares of asset management companies are likely to be in focus today

Mumbai: Indian stock markets are expected to be higher on Friday. Share markets in Asia edged northwards early on Friday morning as investors clung on to hopes that a highly anticipated meeting between the US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this weekend could lead to an easing of trade tensions.

Yet the gains were small and underscored uncertainty over whether the talks will produce definitive progress in ending the year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

US stock futures was up 0.2%, Australian shares lost 0.21%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index was 0.3% lower.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 rose 0.38% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.73%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.04%. Rising equity market indicators were accompanied by a minor pull-back in fixed income, with the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rising to 2.0192%, compared with a US close of 2.005% on Thursday.

India-US ties have never been closer, the US president Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in opening remarks as the two leaders met Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka.

This is Modi’s first meeting with Trump after his re-election to office of prime minister after the April-May polls. Trump also congratulated Modi on the scale of his party’s victory in the elections concluded on 19 May.

Domestically, shares of asset management companies are likely to be in focus today as markets regulator on Thursday tightened investment norms for liquid mutual funds to protect investors from credit risks arising out of defaults by borrowers. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said liquid funds can invest a maximum of 20% of their assets in a single sector as against the current cap of 25%, and must keep aside at least a fifth of their assets in cash equivalents to meet sudden redemption pressures.

US yields had fallen on Thursday, driven lower by ebbing optimism over a Sino-US trade deal. The dollar was 0.07% lower against the safe-haven yen at 107.70, and the euro edged up 0.03% to buy $1.1371. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was virtually flat at 96.180.

In commodity markets, US crude lost 0.03% to $59.41 a barrel and global benchmark Brent crude added 0.08% to $66.60 per barrel.

The uncertainty over global trade saw gold rebound after dipping below $1,400 per ounce on Thursday. Spot gold was last traded at $1,414.72 per ounce, up 0.38%.

(Reuters contributed to the story)