Let's start with the update on the much-watched US election results where Democrat Joe Biden crept closer to victory over US President Donald Trump by leading with razor-thin margins in a handful of states where votes are still being counted. From the states that have been called by the US media so far, Biden has secured 253 electoral votes, while Trump has won 213.
US stocks jumped overnight with investors now betting that Republicans would hold onto the Senate and prevent changes under a possible Joe Biden White House. Overall, the Dow and the S&P 500 rose 1.95 per cent, each, while the the Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.59 per cent.
The US Fed, meanwhile, kept its loose monetary policy intact and again pledged to do whatever it can to sustain an economy crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. In a post-statement press conference, Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed would not consider directly funding fiscal activities.
Asian shares took cues from their Wall Street counterparts and rose in Friday's early deals. Australian shares and Japan's Nikkei jumped 0.8 per cent each while Kospi and Hong Kong's index were flat.
In commodities, oil prices were sluggish after a bout of profit-taking in early trade. Brent crude was down 1 per cent at $40.80 a barrel.
As for the Indian markets, the SGX Nifty was down 23 points at 12,150 levels at 7:30 AM, indicating a flat to negative start for the domestic indices.
The benchmark indices might get a helping hand from Reliance Industries today after the conglomerate said that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will invest Rs 9,555 crore for 2.04 per cent equity stake in Reliance Retail. This investment values Reliance Retail Ventures at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.587 trillion.
Investors will also track financials after the RBI allowed banks to co-lend with all registered NBFCs, which include housing finance companies
Besides, market participants will react to corporate results and other stock-specific developments.
Berger Paints on Thursday reported an increase of 13.55 per cent year-on-year in its consolidated net profit to Rs 221 crore for the September quarter. Adani Transmission, meanwhile, posted about 7 per cent YoY fall in consolidated net profit at Rs 214 crore for the quarter, mainly on account of reduced income.
A total of 219 companies including ITC, Cipla, Ashok Leyland, and Bank of India are scheduled to declare their quarterly earnings today. According to analysts, ITC's revenue from the cigarette business is likely to reach up to 90 per cent of the pre-Covid levels; however, its hotel business will be the most adversely impacted due to the outbreak of coronavirus. FMCG business, on the other hand, is estimated to do well.
On the Covid front, India's total caseload has now moved past the 84 lakh-mark while 1.25 lakh people have so far died from the pandemic.