The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is flat at 135.35 with almost same number of stocks advanced as fell in the index. Further, Japan"s Nikkei 225 Stock Average is trading up by 0.91% to 9,678.68 as participants were optimistic that impact of yesterday"s earthquake was limited.
Shanghai Composite is down by 0.01% to 3,007.6 and Hang Seng Index fell 0.4% to 24,377.83.
Separately, Jakarta Composite and Seoul Composite are trading higher by 0.25% and 0.38% respectively.
In the domestic arena, the markets are likely to follow the rout of global counter part and trade range-bound with upside movement. Realty, IT and Oil&Gas pivotals will be in focus today.
Previous trading session
On Thursday, the domestic bourses continued third straight session of consolidation in the negative terrain and traded in a narrow range throughout the session. During the morning trade, the Asian stocks traded higher after the yen weakened against most of the competing currencies and as gold prices rose to a record for a second straight day in New York on demand for the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation.
The Japanese market surged as the weakness in yen boosted export shares and after prices of crude oil and metal increased. The Chinese stocks plunged as participants turned cautious after hike in interest rate to tackle inflation.
Domestic: Soon after the flat to negative opening, the benchmark indices plunged further with the benchmark Nifty being dragged near the 5,860 mark. The market started trading volatile below the unchanged zone till the mid-session. The benchmarks surged in the positive terrain in the second half, however, such upmove remained limited and the market pared the gains soon.
The IT and Oil&Gas space remained the draggers during the session, whereas the Realty space continued its upward rally. The negative opening for the European bourses had limited impact in the domestic front.
The BSE Sensex closed at 19,591.18 down by 21.02 points or by 0.11% and NSE Nifty closed at 5885.70, lower by 6.05 points or by 0.10%. The BSE Midcap was at 7,264.29 higher by 70.42 points or by 0.98% and the BSE SmallCap closed at 8,897.19, up by 110.25 points or by 1.25%. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 19,665.09 and intraday low of 19,537.02.
International: On Thursday, the U.S. markets closed lower owed to sloppy action during the session, but the major equity averages managed to finish around the neutral line. The weakness came due to first rate hike by a major central bank -- European Central Bank (ECB) -- and news of another earthquake in Japan.
Stocks opened flat in response to an in-line initial jobless claims tally of 382,000, Portugal"s request for foreign financial aid, and the first rate hike by the European Central Bank since mid-2008. Further, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan both ended their meetings and England's central bank kept target rates unchanged at 0.5% and held in place its 200 billion pound asset purchase program.
While, Japan's central bank declared a special lending program which will be offered to companies adversely affected by the massive earthquake that hit the country last month. News of another earthquake in Japan fuelled knee-jerk selling that took the Dow down to a loss of almost 100 points.
But, buyers were brought back following reports that the quake wasn't as severe as it had been feared and that nuclear facilities weren't damaged. Despite sideways movement by the market, shares of various retailers registered impressive gains with help from stronger-than-expected same-store sales results for March.