Investors will focus on global cues, corporate results, and stock-specific developments for the market direction today amid the murmurs of another stimulus package likely to be announced within a month.
Globally, Wall Street’s three major averages closed lower overnight after a choppy trading session, as investors eyed difficult negotiations in Washington for a fresh coronavirus stimulus package. The Dow inched lower by 0.35 per cent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.22 per cent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.28 per cent.
In early Asian trade, Australian stocks fell 0.73 per cent, Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.65 per cent and Hong Kong was down 0.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, SGX Nifty hovered around 11,920 levels, indicating a flat start to the Indian markets on the weekly expiry.
On the results front, Bajaj Finserv yesterday reported 18 per cent year-on-year fall in its consolidated net profit to Rs 986.29 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, as group entities suffered a contraction in profits.
A total of 48 companies including Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Infratel, and SBI Cards are set to announce their quarterly earnings today.
As for Bajaj Auto, analysts expect the automaker to report strong sequential recovery, albeit lower on year-on-year basis, on both the revenue and bottom-line front while margins are set to expand.
Besides, Vedanta is set to trade actively today after the company said its board of directors is scheduled to meet on October 24 to consider and approve first interim dividend for FY21. The record date for the same is fixed as October 31.
On the Covid front, India on Wednesday recorded over 56,000 cases, taking the tally to over 77 lakh while death toll rose to 1.16 lakh. India recorded a test positivity rate of 4.99 per cent, a massive decline from the rate of almost 8 per cent at the start of September.
And now a quick look at other top news
The International Monetary Fund has slashed this year's economic forecast for Asia in a sign the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on the region. India's economy is likely to shrink 10.3 per cent this year in stark contrast to China, which is set to expand 1.9 per cent the IMF said.
The IPO of Equitas Small Finance Bank was subscribed 67 per cent on the second day of bidding on Wednesday. The portion reserved for qualified institutional buyers was subscribed 5 per cent, non institutional investors 5 per cent and retail individual investors 1.42 times.
Hindustan Copper on Wednesday said its board will next week consider raising funds by issue of shares via qualified institutional placement. This will be to the extent of 15 per cent of existing paid up equity capital.