Indian stock markets are likely to be tepid on Monday following global cues. Asian share markets got the week off to a muted start as jaded investors awaited real evidence on progress in the US-China trade dispute, though record close on Wall Street supported sentiment.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.06% in very light volumes. Japan's Nikkei added 0.05%, but remained short of its recent 13-month high.
Doubts about Sino-US trade talks emerged early last week, although optimism gradually returned as US officials sounded more positive.
On Saturday, Chinese state media said the two sides had "constructive talks" on trade in a high-level phone call that included Vice Premier Liu He, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Wall Street's main indexes closed at record levels on Friday as the S&P 500 scored its sixth straight week of gains. The Dow ended up 0.8%, while the S&P 500 made 0.77%.
Back home, the Centre is exploring a law to protect investments affected by state governments’ decisions to scrap contracts as it moves to reassure foreign investors who are riled up by Andhra Pradesh’s plan to annul some clean energy agreements.
Reliance Industries' shares will be eyed as Essar Steel, Adani Group and state-owned GAIL have bought majority of natural gas from the company’s newer fields in the KG-D6 block at an indicative price of $5.04 - 5.16 per unit, industry sources said.
Essar Steel picked up 2.25 million standard cubic meters per day or about half of the available volumes in the day long auction conducted on November 15. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) picked up 1.2 mmscmd while Adani Group, Mahanagar Gas Ltd and GAIL bought 0.3 mmscmd each, according to a news report.
Gold loan financier Muthoot Finance Ltd is in advanced stages of acquiring IDBI Asset Management Ltd, the mutual fund unit of Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC)-owned private sector lender IDBI Bank Ltd, according to a Mint report.
In currency markets, the dollar was little changed against its main peers on Monday and well within recent tight trading ranges. Indeed, volatility in the market has been the lowest in decades recently and shows no sign of shifting.
The dollar was steady on the yen at 108.72, after bouncing on Friday.
The euro, likewise, idled at $1.1054 having found support at $1.0987 last week. Investors are awaiting the first major speech by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde due on Friday for clues on future policy.
Sterling nudged up to $1.2916 as more polls showed the Tories well ahead in the election race. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was a shade softer at 97.954.
Dollar and bonds are likely to be sensitive to minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, set to be released on Wednesday.
Spot gold was flat at $1,468.45 per ounce as it tracks every passing twitch in risk appetite.
Oil prices were supported after Brent touched a seven-week high on Friday. In early trade, Brent crude futures firmed 2 cents to $63.32, while US crude added 3 cents to $57.75 a barrel.
(Reuters contributed to the story)