Indian stock markets are expected to be steady on Friday tracking Asian peers which edged higher on positive sentiment after the UK and the European Union struck a long-awaited Brexit deal. However, concerns about the Chinese economy are likely to cap gains with data expected to show weaker growth.
Sterling, which had enjoyed its biggest rising streak since October 1985 and hit a five-month high on the back of the Brexit deal, gave up ground early Friday amid doubts that the agreement would receive parliamentary approval. The pound eased 0.18% to buy $1.2865.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1% in early trade, echoing small gains on Wall Street. Australian shares were off 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei added 0.5%.
Equity markets enjoyed a bounce from the initial Brexit news, with the S&P 500 in US briefly topping 3,000 points for the first time in more than three weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.09% to 27,025.88, the S&P 500 ended 0.28% higher at 2,997.97 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% to 8,156.85.
China is in focus in Asia with the world's second-largest economy expected to post its weakest economic growth in at least 27.5 years when it releases gross domestic product data. Weak numbers could raise pressure on Beijing to introduce new stimulus measures to counter the effects of a long-running trade war with the United States.
On Thursday, China said it hoped to reach a phased agreement in its trade dispute with the US as soon as possible.
Back home, shares of Tata Motors are likely to be in focus. Shares of the company, which has a large exposure in the United Kingdom, surged nearly 10% on Thursday as looming uncertainty around no-deal Brexit ended.
Debt-ridden housing finance firm DHFL on Thursday reported a consolidated net loss of ₹242.48 crore for the second quarter of the current fiscal against ₹431.71 crore in the corresponding July-September period of 2018-19. DHFL said the losses registered in Q2 of this fiscal were fully attributable to owners of the parent company.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) said it was forced to make provisions worth ₹170 crore in the quarter ended 30 September, due to delay in the recovery of a loan to an outside entity. In a stock exchange filing, Subhash Chandra’s flagship company also said that a bank where ZEEL maintained a ₹200 crore deposit adjusted the sum against the dues of certain other related parties. ZEEL said it recorded a revenue of ₹2,122 crore in the September quarter, up 7.4% from the year-ago period, while profit grew by 6.9% to ₹413.2 crore. The growth was driven by the strong performance of domestic broadcast and digital businesses, the company added.
Meanwhile, reflecting the cautious mood, yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes fell slightly to 1.7483% compared with a close of 1.755% on Thursday.
In the currency market, the dollar was flat against the yen at 108.65, while the euro was up 0.04% on the day at $1.1126. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was barely lower at 97.596.
Oil was mixed ahead of the China data, with US crude up 0.1% at $53.99 a barrel, but Brent crude easing by 0.13% to 59.83%. Spot gold was flat, trading at $1,491.73 per ounce.