10 things you need to know before the opening bell

US stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 up for a seventh straight day, as geopolitical fears eased amid diplomatic efforts to allow Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, averting a US military strike. (Reuters)

Asian shares eked out small gains and the dollar remained under pressure on growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve's impending stimulus reduction might be smaller than some had believed.(Reuters)

The dollar struggled at two-week lows against a basket of major currencies early in Asia on Thursday, as markets continued to chip away at its recent gains on growing doubts the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus in any significant way next week.(Reuters)


Asian shares eked out small gains.

Crude oil prices edged up in choppy trading on Wednesday as investors worried about whether diplomatic efforts to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons would avert military action that could disrupt oil supplies from the Middle East. Brent crude oil futures rose 25 cents to settle at $111.50. In the past two days, Brent fell more than 4 percent. On Tuesday, it dropped to a two-week low.(Reuters)

Gold edged slightly down to up to $1,364.96 an ounce, after touching a three-week low of $1,356.85 on Wednesday.(Reuters)

Stocks in news

UltraTech and Jaiprakash Associates, after the former bought Gujarat cement units of the latter. All cement stocks are likely to be in focus.

MCX SX, after news that Sebi has renewed its licence for one year but with riders. Parent Financial Technologies will also see some action.

IT stocks, on the rupee movement.

Oil marketing companies, as the government may not increase diesel prices by Rs 5/L as expected.

Economy news

Credit ratings agency Crisil has cut India's economic growth estimate to 4.8 percent for the current fiscal and said agriculture is the only hope for higher rate of expansion in this period of downturn. Its earlier GDP estimate for 2013-14 was 5.5 percent.

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 00:06:59 IST

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