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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Mar 24, 2009

HDFC cuts loan rates by 50 bps

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Housing Development Finance Corp said on Tuesday it is cutting its retail prime lending rate by 50 basis points from March 25.

The lending rate has been brought down by 100 basis points since December 2008, it said.  (More ...)

Reliance gas to cut oil use in India - Goldman

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Gas supplies from Reliance Industries' KG Basin block will replace about 7 percent of local oil consumption in 2009/10, rising to 14 percent in the following three years, Goldman Sachs said in a report.

The U.S. bank said the start of supplies from the block off India's east coast would also trigger investment of over $10 billion in gas transmission and distribution infrastructure in the next five years.

It would also reduce the country's current account and fiscal deficits and support economic growth, Goldman Sachs said.  (More ...)

GE-Hitachi in N-reactor pacts with BHEL, NPC

Hindustan Times

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), a joint venture of US-based General Electric and Japan's Hitachi, on Monday announced the signing of two agreements with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) to build nuclear reactors for power generation in India.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Kishore Jayaraman, CEO, GE Energy, for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, said that under the agreements, GEH along with NPCIL and BHEL will plan necessary resources required in the manufacturing and construction of a multiple-unit Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power station.  (More ...)

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ADVFN World Daily Markets Bulletin (excerpts)

US Stocks at a Glance

Nasdaq Pulls Back To A New Low For The Session

Stocks are seeing notable weakness in mid-morning trading on Tuesday, with the major averages giving back some ground after posting standout gains in the previous session. The weakness in the markets is largely due to profit taking following Monday's rally.

While stocks are moving mostly lower, selling pressure has remained somewhat subdued, as traders keep an eye on comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's before the House Financial Services Committee.

In prepared remarks, Bernanke drove home the point that while the bonuses AIG has given to employees were inappropriate, the overall bailout of the world's largest insurer was necessary to prevent a 1930s style meltdown.
Additionally, Geithner made it known that the AIG Financial Products division was unregulated, operating in unregulated ways and that all institutions that pose systemic risk to the broader economy must be subject to oversight.

The major averages have moved to the downside in recent trading, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulling back to a new low for the session. The Dow is currently down 100.75 at 7,675.10, the Nasdaq is down 27.08 at 1,528.69 and the S&P 500 is down 11.99 at 810.93.

Canadian Market

Toronto Stocks Surrender Some Of Recent Rally

Toronto stocks have turned lower on Tuesday as traders cashed in on a recent rally. The drop took the market off its highest level in six weeks.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index has lost 135.40 points or 1.51% to 8,766.65. The index has closed higher in nine of the previous sessions.

European Shares

Early gains evaporate after inflation data
Market Movers
FTSE 100 3,910.16 -1.08%
techMARK 1,129.66 +0.82%
FTSE 250 6,407.82 +0.26%

Blue chips have reversed their early gains after inflation data showed a surprise rise in the government's measure in February.

Economists were scratching their heads as to why prices rose to 3.2%. RPI, arguably the real measure of inflation, fell to zero, but again this was higher than expected with minus 0.5% the consensus figure.

Asia Markets

Asian markets end higher on optimism about banking sector stability

The major markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended in the green on Tuesday, buoyed by the cues from Wall Street, where the markets witnessed the biggest one-day rally since October 2008 after the Obama Administration unveiled plans to help banks sell toxic assets and pave way for a revival in credit flow, which is critical for reviving the economy. Positive economic data on existing home sales also lifted market sentiment.

Market analysts are speculating that the extension of the relief rally might signal that the bottom has already been reached and the markets may find stability in the short-term, on optimism that the plans will really work and the global economic recovery might take place sooner than expected, with the banking sector likely to lead the recovery.

Commodities

Crude Backs Away From Multi-Month High

Crude oil prices edged lower on Tuesday and gave back some of yesterday's rally. The decline took prices away from the recently-seen multi-month high.

Light sweet crude for May delivery fell 48 cents to $53.32 per barrel. Prices slipped as low as $52.87 in the opening moments of the session after touching above $54 on Monday.

Traders looked ahead to the Energy Information Administration data on weekly inventories, due Wednesday. Last week's report showed crude oil inventories increased 2 million barrels from the previous week. Motor gasoline inventories unexpectedly increased by 3.2 million barrels last week.

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