A host of conflicting cues indicated at a flat start for the Indian markets on Friday as investors weighed positive signals from global peers against another record jump in Covid-19 cases.
At 7.40 am, SGX Nifty was ruling 15 points lower at 14,931.
India in the last 24 hours reported the highest single-day spike of 1.31 lakh new Covid-19 cases. In the last four of the five days this week, India has reported cases of over 1 lakh. This comes at a time when several states are flagging vaccine shortages, risking the pace of India's inoculation programme.
Taking stock of the Covid situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged state governments to test more even if that meant higher reporting of the infection and to avoid lockdowns. Armed with the experience of managing the first wave, better health infrastructure and a locally manufactured vaccine, lockdowns should be avoided altogether, the PM told chief ministers at the virtual meet on Covid.
Meanwhile, on the global market front, Wall Street indices gained as US Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labour market data, boosting technology and other growth stocks which lifted S&P 500 to a record. That apart, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assurance that the central bank can reinvigorate the economy without stoking painful inflation also boosted sentiments.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17%, the S&P 500 gained 0.42% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.03%.
However, Asian markets traded mixed in the morning session, boosted by a fall in yield to a 2-week low but weighed down by an unexpected rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits. Japan’s Topix Index was up about 1%, South Korea's Kospi down 0.21% and Hang Seng index fell 0.40%.
Now, a look at the stock-specific triggers that are likely to guide the market today:
Department of Telecom (DoT) in an SC affidavit said it is planning to slap Videocon Telecommunications Ltd's adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of Rs 1,376 crore on Bharti Airtel. However, Airtel has questioned the legal validity of the demand.
Srei Infrastructure Finance's subsidiary Srei Equipment Finance said it had received an expression of interest for up to $250 million capital infusion in the company from international PE funds.
Zensar Technologies has entered into a global strategic partnership with US-based Claimatic.
Arindam Haldar has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Thyrocare Technologies, for personal reasons. He had joined Thyrocare in September 2020.
Now, an update on the primary market. The initial public offer of Macrotech Developers was subscribed 35 per cent on Thursday, the second day of subscription. The qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) category was subscribed 65 per cent, non-institutional investors 19 per cent and retail individual investors (RIIs) 25 per cent. The issue closes for subscription today.