Let's first look at the SGX Nifty trends which suggest a gap-up opening for the Indian markets today. The indices had closed higher in yesterday's session also as the Sensex surged nearly 5 per cent while the Nifty was up almost 4 per cent. This was after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic package worth Rs 1.7 trillion to protect the poor from economic fallout of the lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Talking about the virus itself, the number of cases in India have risen to 694 with 16 deaths. Globally, the virus has infected 531,800 and over 24,000 people have died so far.
Let's now look at the major cues for the day. Investors will track the 10 AM press conference by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das today and his announcements, if any, will have a major bearing on the market's trajectory today.
Besides, rating agency Crisil yesterday sharply cut its India growth estimate for 2020-21 to 3.5 per cent citing the severe dent in the economic activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, the agency had predicted an economic growth of 5.2 per cent for the next financial year.
The agency welcomed the Rs 1.70-trillion package announced by the Finance Minister but said more measures like loan forbearances for small businesses and households are necessary.
In global developments, leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses from the coronavirus and “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.”
In the US, Wall Street rallied overnight despite a record number of new unemployment filings in the United States, as traders focused on the unanimous passage of a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill in the U.S. Senate and the possibility of more stimuli to come. The US House of Representatives is expected to pass the stimulus package later today that will flood the world’s largest economy with money to stem the damage caused by the pandemic.
In that background, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 surged over 6 per cent each and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 5.6 per cent.
In the same vein, Asian stocks also rose on Friday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1 per cent. Australian shares were up 2 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose 3.65 per cent.
In commodities, oil fell as fears of plunging demand outweighed expectations of support from the US stimulus. Brent fell 2.26 per cent to $26.77 a barrel.
Read by: Kanishka Gupta