Days after announcing a slew of measures to help businesses deal with the lockdown impact, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in an interview to Business Standard that the government was with industry and would do as much as possible to repair the damage when companies were going through the most stressful time.
Replying to a specific question on whether there would be a stimulus package 6.0, the FM said, “We cannot shut the doors.”
The Union Cabinet is likely to discuss the proposals, announced in the recent ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ package in a meeting expected to be held later in the day.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases in India has now reached 103,292, according to Worldometer. As many as 3,179 people have died from the disease in the country, while a little over 39,000 have recovered even as several states continue to open up parts of their economy after getting relaxations from the Centre.
Citing the nation-wide lockdown which caused both exports and imports to their all-time lows in April, Barclays has said that India may end the current fiscal with a record surplus of about $ 20 billion or 70 basis points of the GDP.
Besides these,corporate results will continue to pour in. Investors will first react to Bajaj Finance's Q4 numbers announced yesterday in which it reported a profit of Rs 948 crore versus Rs 1,176 crore in the year-ago quarter. Net interest income grew to Rs 4,684 crore.
Today, a total of 22 companies including Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, UltraTech Cement, and Jubilant FoodWorks, are scheduled to announce their March quarter earnings.
Reliance Industries will be in focus today as its mega rights issue opens today and closes on June 3. The conglomerate has said it will use three-fourth of the proceeds for repayment of some of its borrowings.
Here's one interesting report. BofA Securities has released a survey report of fund managers in which 52 per cent of them have said that the second wave of Covid-19 is the biggest tail risk for the markets. Permanently high unemployment, the break-up of the European Union, and systemic credit event are the other tail risks cited.
Now, let's look at the global cues for today. Indices on the Wall Street fell overnight after a report said that early data from Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was insufficient. The Dow Jones fell 1.6 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 1.05 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.54 per cent.
Asia stocks were largely higher on Wednesday. Hang Seng up 75 points, Kospi was up 0.1 per cent, ASX200 was down 0.5 per cent and Nikkei was up 0.6 per cent. SGX Nifty also ticked up 80 points, suggesting a green start for the Indian indices today.
In commodities, Brent crude was trading around $34.55 a barrel.
Read by: Kanishka Gupta