- Markets open flat as election dates announced, Services PMI index sees marginal gainBSE Sensex up 67 pts to end near record close, ICICI Bank shares jump 2.7 pctAs Election Commission sets 2014 Lok Sabha poll dates, traders brace for stock rallyBSE Sensex extend gains as Lok Sabha election dates announced; Sensex only 96.8 points away from all-time high
The newsmaker stocks to watch on Thursday include Tata Motors, Tata Power, AstraZeneca and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals:
INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Street fighting as India heads for April-May election
* Tata Motors and China's Chery Automobile explore further possible tie-ups
* AstraZeneca defers delisting offer
* Tata Power says board to consider rights issue
* Apollo, ICICI Venture set to complete raising $750 mln India fund
* Kirloskar Brothers says SPP Pumps LP acquires 100 pct capital of Syncroflo Inc
* Suntory readies Rs 5 bln swig of Radico brands
GLOBAL MARKETS ROUNDUP
* Nifty futures traded on the Singapore Exchange are up 0.48 percent, while the MSCI-Asia Pacific excluding Japan index also gains 0.31 percent.
* Asian shares could enjoy a reprieve on Thursday as diplomatic efforts moderate the crisis over Ukraine, while the euro comes under pressure as investors speculate whether the European Central Bank will ease policy later in the day
* The S&P 500 finished almost flat on Wednesday, a day after closing at an all-time high, as investors shrugged off soft data on jobs and the services sector while keeping an eye on developments in Ukraine.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* India's balance of payments swings to surplus - central bank
* US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal will travel March 4-6 to Bangalore and New Delhi.