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Economy Jul 13, 2012

China data lifts up Nifty futures, Asian markets

By Venky Vembu

Hong Kong: It's Friday the 13th, but markets are looking to break their jinx of recent days on the back of economic data out of China, which signalled a slowdown, but perhaps not one as sharp as investors had feared.

Second-quarter GDP came in at 7.6 percent year-on-year, lower than the 8.1 percent in the first quarter and its slowest pace of growth in three years. But it was still in line with expectations. And overall, the retail sales data and industrial production numbers gave investors, who had been bracing for a far worse set of numbers, a sense of relief.

We're probably looking at a flat start to the trading day, with markets picking up their cues from corporate news flows.

Early trades across Asian markets were choppy with a negative bias, but since the data was released at 7.30 am IST, indices have rebounded and are back in the green. Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai are all in mildly positive territory.

Nifty futures too are trading up a tick, clawing back from early morning losses. But trading is still volatile, and the sentiment betrays some underlying nervousness.Analysts read yesterday's industrial production data in India as perhaps signalling that the RBI will have reason enough to stay its hand on a rate cut later this month. And earnings from the IT heavyweights presented a mixed picture.

Overnight, Wall Street saw its sixth straight day of losses, despite some encouraging unemployment data, which came it at its lowest levels since 2008. But eurozone troubles were never far from the minds of investors, after bond yields in Spain and Italy spiked. After close of trading, ratings agency Moody's slashed Italy's rating by two notches citing a near-term deterioration in its economic outlook.

Back home, analysts are hoping that the IIP data that came in on Thursday signals the start of an economic recovery. Corporate results, and the progress of the monsoon, could determine trading sentiment for the rest of the day.The rupee will likely open slightly stronger this morning.

Overall, we're probably looking at a flat start to the trading day, with markets picking up their cues from corporate news flows.

by Venky Vembu

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