MARKETS LIVE: Key things to watch before the opening bell

February 21
08:25 2018

The benchmark indices are likely to open on a cautious note tracking its key Asian counterparts and the recent developments in the multi-billion rupees Punjab National Bank fraud and Rotomac fraud cases. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday constituted an expert panel that will look at the divergence in asset classification and provisions reported by banks vis-à-vis those interpreted by the central bank’s auditors, and also to examine the rising incidence of fraud in the banking system. Assets, which the government’s central probe agencies claim to have seized assets from Nirav Modi’s warehouses and showrooms, are worth around Rs 57 billion at book value, are likely to yield less than half the amount when they are disposed of. The fraud is estimated at Rs 114 billion, but recovering even a fourth of this amount is unlikely, said probe agency sources. On Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed senior officials of public sector banks (PSBs), lenders’ auditors and the regulator for financial fraud. He said the state will chase down cheaters to the end. Asian stock markets dipped after a long winning run on Wall Street ended overnight, while the dollar gained momentum on Wednesday as yields on US Treasury debt headed for highs not seen in four years. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.15 per cent.

Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.2 per cent. Australian stocks were down 0.05 per cent and South Korea’s KOSPI . KS11 fell 0.4 per cent. The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Tuesday to snap a six-session winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily. (with wire inputs)

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