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(08:31, 01 Jun 2018)

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 26 points at the opening bell. Auto stocks will be in focus as the auto companies will start announcing monthly sales numbers for May 2018 starting from today, 1 June 2018.

On the macro front, Markit Economics will unveil the result of a monthly survey on the performance of India's manufacturing sector in May 2018 today, 1 June 2018. The Nikkei Manufacturing PMI in India increased to 51.6 in April 2018 from 51 in the preceding month.

India's GDP rose at 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 compared with 6.1% in the same period last year, and a revised 7% in the quarter ended December, government data released after market hours yesterday, 31 May 2018 showed. For the full financial year, GDP grew at 6.7% compared with 7.1% in the previous year.

Overseas, most Asian stocks slipped after the Trump administration's tariffs on imports from key allies sent US and European stocks into a tailspin. US stocks fell yesterday, 31 May 2018 as the president's escalation of trade tensions with Canada, Mexico and the European Union hammered American industrial and financial shares.

Back home, key equity benchmarks logged strong gains yesterday, 31 May 2018 on buying frenzy in index pivotals led by HDFC Bank, HDFC and Infosys. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 416.27 points or 1.19% to settle at 35,322.38. The Nifty 50 index rose 121.80 points or 1.15% to settle at 10,736.15. The Sensex settled well above the psychological 35,000 level after moving above and below that level in intraday trade. Positive global stocks boosted sentiment.

The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 15.31 crore yesterday, 31 May 2018 as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 266.02 crore yesterday, 31 May 2018, as per provisional data.

Among corporate news, IT major Infosys announced an expansion of its relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the digital transformation of enterprise clients. Infosys has launched a new Microsoft Cloud Business Unit that will focus on the comprehensive cloud needs of enterprises - from infrastructure to business applications. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 May 2018.

The unit at Infosys will consist of a central pool of trained consultants, architects and specialist sales team that will be aligned to four core solution areas - modern workplace, business applications, application development & infrastructure and data & analytics. The new unit is chartered to develop and deliver integrated experiences, solutions and services spanning Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10 and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Idea Cellular announced completion of sale of its pan-India standalone tower business, by way of divesting its entire stake in ICISL (100% subsidiary of Idea), to ATC Telecom Infrastructure (ATC). The transaction has been closed with an enterprise value of Rs 4000 crore for approximately 9,900 standalone towers.

Vodafone's sale of its standalone tower business to ATC has already been completed earlier for an enterprise value of Rs 3850 crore. With this, both Idea and Vodafone India have now monetised the standalone tower assets for a total enterprise value of Rs 7850 crore, as per the timelines provided at the time of the announcement in November 2017, strengthening the financial position of the merged entity. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 May 2018.

Maruti Suzuki India said it crossed the mark of 3-lakh cumulative sale of cars with the acclaimed Auto Gear Shift (AGS) technology. With the AGS becoming popular among the customers, Maruti Suzuki aims to achieve the feat of over 2-lakh sales in the current fiscal year. The contribution of cars with AGS variant to the company's total sales has tripled since its introduction in 2014.

At present, Maruti Suzuki offers AGS in seven models in its range, including bestsellers like Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio, Swift, IGNIS and Dzire. In May 2018, Vitara Brezza became the latest offering with AGS technology from Maruti Suzuki. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 31 May 2018.

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