US STOCKS-Wall St propped up by tech, discretionary stocks
* Consumer confidence index rises to highest level in 9 years
GLOBAL MARKETS ROUNDUP * Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange rose 0.15 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan was up 0.01 percent. * Wall Street halted its two-day rally on Tuesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank lacks tools to cushion the U.S. economy from the impact of the "fiscal cliff." * Asian shares steadied on Wednesday, after a two days of gains, as investors refocused on the risk of a U.S. fiscal crisis following Bernanke's remarks that the budget impasse was already damaging growth. FACTORS TO WATCH * The Reserve Bank of India's Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn will address college students in Mumbai on 'The Current Economic Scenario in India' in the morning. In the evening, Gokarn will preside over the Exim Bank Commencement Day Annual Lecture on 'Developments in the World Trading System: India's Options'. * The Reserve Bank of India's Deputy Governor Keshab Chandra Chakrabarty is scheduled to give a keynote address at ASSOCHAM's 8th Annual Banking Summit in New Delhi. INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH For additional press items double click NOTE: Reuters has not verified third-party stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. TOP NEWS * India's government aims to pass bills opening up the insurance and pension sectors to foreign investors in parliament's forthcoming session, a minister said on Tuesday, the next step in a reform programme seen as key to reviving economic growth. (Reuters) * India received bids worth 150.69 billion rupees ($2.74 billion) in unused foreign debt limits for government and corporate bonds, more than the 106.16 billion rupees on offer, two market sources said on Tuesday. (Reuters) [ID: nL4N0902RG] * Private equity firm Blackstone has made an offer to to buy prime office and retail real estate blocks from Vijay Mallya's investment holding company UB Holdings, said two people familiar with the developments. (Economic Times) here FINANCIAL/REGULATORY * Canadian Securities Administrators, the securities market regulator of Canada, has barred Indian asset management companies from selling investment products to local investors, dealing a blow to these fund houses. (Economic Times) here * India's central bank has extended the relaxation of the period of realization and repatriation to the country of the full value of goods or software exported by six months. The relaxation will now be effective till March 31, 2013, the Reserve Bank of India said in a release. (Reuters) ENERGY/COMMODITIES * Reliance Industries and the oil ministry have narrowed their differences over auditing of the controversial KG-D6 block and pricing of natural gas, raising hopes of quicker approvals and development of more fields in the gas-rich region, government and industry sources said. (Economic Times) here * Jindal Power & Steel has started producing coal at its mine in Mozambique this month, with first exports expected by January next year, the company's country head for Mozambique said at an industry conference on Tuesday. (Reuters) * The cabinet committee on economic affairs will on Thursday consider a proposal to sell A 9.5 percent stake in NTPC . It will also consider a proposal to allow state miner NMDC to acquire 50 percent stake in Legacy Iron Ore , a listed Australian entity. (Economic Times) here * Oil & Natural Gas Corp is planning to sell dollar bonds to fund the $1 billion acquisition of a stake in oilfields in Azerbaijan, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. (Reuters) * Rahul Dhir, the former CEO of Cairn India, is teaming up with Warburg Pincus to set up an international oil and gas exploration and production company focused on promising assets in sub-Saharan Africa, a person close to the transaction said. (Economic Times) here * Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd have put a plan to jointly develop a terminal in Mangalore on hold, senior executives in both companies said. (Business Standard) here * The Essar group's Ruias family is working on a plan to lower its stakes in Essar Shipping and Essar Ports , said a source close to the developments. A group spokesperson confirmed the stake sale plan in the Indian companies. (Business Standard) here AUTOS * Maruti Suzuki exported 8,300 units of the M800, an increase of 57 per cent compared to the 5,300-odd units sold in the corresponding period last year, said Shashank Srivastava, executive director of international business development at the auto maker. (Business Standard) here AIRLINES * Media baron Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kavery Kalanithi have resigned from the board of directors of Kal Airways, the holding company of SpiceJet, according to a resignation letter reviewed by The Financial Express newspaper (Financial Express) * Domestic passenger traffic fell 15.7 per cent in October, while government-owned Air India strengthened its market share to 20.8 per cent. (Business Standard) here TELECOMS * Russia's Sistema Shyam is in preliminary discussion with Aircel to pick up an equity stake, Vsevolod Rozanov, president and CEO said. "We have had preliminary discussions, which also include them apart from others. But we will not take any decision unless we are assured our investment in the country is protected," Rozanov was quoted as saying by Business Standard. (Business Standard) here * Tata Teleservices Ltd has begun winding up operations in the Jammu and Kashmir, north-east and Assam telecom areas, after deciding against participating in the auction for radio spectrum in the 800Mhz band, according to an official in department of telecommunications. (Mint) here RETAIL * IKEA is poised to become the first major foreign company to open wholly owned stores in India after it received a crucial government clearance to invest 105 billion rupees ($1.9 billion). (Economic Times) here * Diageo Plc will launch a mandatory share tender offer to buy up to 26 percent additional stake in India's United Spirits Ltd from public shareholders on Jan. 7, the manager to the offer said in a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange. (Reuters) PHARMA * The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has imposed a blanket ceiling on the prices of insulin, irrespective of the brand. (Business Standard) here MEDIA * Sam Balsara, the owner of Madison Media, is negotiating with Japan's Dentsu and as well as U.K.-based WPP to sell the Indian domestic advertisement agency, according to sources close to Balsara. (Economic Times) here PROPERTY * The realty arm of Bharti Group is in negotiations with DB Realty to buy a 49 percent stake in a special purpose vehicle that is developing a plot located in a hospitality district being developed near the Delhi International Airport, according to people familiar with the transaction. (Economic Times) here * Holiday Inn Express on Tuesday launched its first property in the country and the only second in South East Asia at Ahmedabad. (Business Standard) here NOTE: Reuters has not verified third-party stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. OTHER FACTORS TO WATCH * Indian debt/FX factors to watch * Yen falls broadly, euro pins hope on deal for Greece * Oil drops as Gaza truce seen; losses pared on API data * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs (Compiled by Manoj Rawal; Editing by Rafael Nam)
* Consumer confidence index rises to highest level in 9 years
* Indexes up: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.09 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to open)
Sept 27 U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday as weak oil prices weighed on energy stocks amid fading hopes of a deal to limit oversupply.