The Indian markets look set for a tepid opening today, with the SGX Nifty indicating a nearly 90 points decline at open from Nifty Futures' last close. This comes on the back of weak global cues as investors remained concerned about the strength of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Overnight, the US Federal Reserve pledged to hold interest rates near zero until at least 2023. The Fed said it would keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to “moderately exceed” the central bank’s 2 per cent inflation target “for some time,” with the aim of offsetting years of weak inflation and allowing the economy to add jobs for as long as possible.
US shares rose with the Fed’s statement but then reversed gains as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the pace of the ongoing economic recovery is expected to slow. Overall, the S&P 500 fell 0.46 per cent and the Nasdaq dropped 1.25 per cent.
Asian indices picked Wall Street's weak lead and were trading lower in Thursday's early deals. Australian ASX 200 and Japan's Nikkei lost 0.7 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 1 per cent..The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England will announce their respective policy decisions later in the day.
Back home, investors can expect the session to remain volatile, with it being the weekly expiry day. Apart from this, investors might focus on stock-specific developments. They will also track defence minister's Rajnath Singh statement in the Rajya Sabha today on the India-China border issue.
On the Covid front, India has crossed the 51-lakh mark in terms of cases while the death toll has risen to 83,230, according to Worldometer.
A big focus in today's session will be the stock market debut of IT services firm Happiest Minds Technologies. The Rs 702-crore IPO last week garnered massive response from investors as it was subscribed 151 times.
And now a quick look at some other top news.
UBS Securities on Wednesday pegged India's GDP contraction at 8.6 per cent for FY21 as against its earlier prediction of 5.8 per cent. It said the country's potential rate of growth has also come down to 5.75-6.25 per cent as per its estimate as against 7.1 per cent, driven by factors including the weak government response to arrest the growth slide.
Indian lenders are keenly watching the outcome of a petition filed by State Bank of India in the Supreme Court, which invoked the personal guarantees of Anil Ambani. The SC will hear the petition today.
The Tata Group companies might trade actively today after reports emerged saying that the group's industrial infrastructure firm Tata Projects is likely to bag the government’s ambitious Parliament redevelopment project.