A historic collapse in the US crude futures saw it turn negative for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut. The May contract of US WTI crude oil tumbled as low as minus $40.32 a barrel overnight, before recovering to around $2 a barrel.
Brent crude also slumped, but nowhere as much. It was last up 2.5 per cent to $26.23 a barrel.
The US crude's plunge spilled over to the Wall Street where major indexes slipped and closed at session's lows. The Dow Jones dropped 2.44 per cent, the S&P500 was down 1.8 per cent while Nasdaq Composite dipped 1 per cent.
Asia shares tracked the Wall Street tumble in Tuesday's early deals, Japan’s Nikkei slipped 1 per cent while Australian ASX was down 0.4 per cent. South Korea's Kospi was trading with half a per cent cut. SGX Nifty also slipped around 90 points from Nifty Future's last close, indicating a softer start for the Indian indices today.
Infosys will be in focus today after reporting its Q4 numbers post market hours yesterday. In constant currency terms, Infosys' revenues fell by 0.8 per cent sequentially while net profit grew 6.3 per cent to Rs 4,321 crore, and was a tad better than estimates because of lower income tax. Infosys also indicated there is limited clarity on business recovery, a key reason why it skipped providing future guidance.
Today, a total of seven companies, including ACC, CRISIL, Den Networks, and ICICI Prudential Life are scheduled to release their March quarter earnings.
Besides these, Covid-19 remains a big concern for investors as cases continue to pile up. According to Worldometer, India's total cases have surpassed 18,500 with 592 deaths. Globally, 24.7 lakh people have been infected and 1.7 lakh have died so far.
Meanwhile, the RBI has decided to increase the Ways and Means Advances limit for state governments and Union Territories by 30 per cent till September 30 in a bid to deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic.
According to a report by Business Standard, the Sebi is likely to make investment rules more stringent for China and other neighbouring nations. Besides stepping up scrutiny, the report says, Sebi could put a cap on the purchase limit, beyond which additional approvals would be required.
In a separate development, SEBI yesterday said the measures aimed at containing the wild swings in stock prices would continue till May 28. On March 20, the markets regulator had imposed temporary restrictions on short-selling, increased margin requirements, and hiked penalties on violators.
And, in the end, here's a stock idea by Anand Rathi which recommends selling Coal India for the target of Rs 136 with stop-loss at Rs 151.