Keeping in continuation of the prevailing corrective phase, Indian markets lost over one and a half per cent last week as rising Covid cases cast a cloud over economic growth and earnings outlook.
In the absence of any major events this week, Covid-19 related developments, March quarter earnings and global cues will continue to guide market mood amid the possibility of extreme volatility in the holiday-shortened week.
Equity markets would remain closed on Wednesday for Ram Navami.
The Indian markets will enter the second week of earning season with 55 companies slated to post their results, including ICICI Bank, HCL Technologies, Nestle India, 5paisa Capital and Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services. Stock-specific movements based on upcoming results can be expected in the market, say experts, with banking and finance stocks likely to remain in focus.
That apart, as Covid-19's second wave wreaks havoc across the country, investors will keep a close watch on the pace of rising infections, vaccination drives and state-wise restrictions to contain the pandemic.
As per the latest data, India recorded over 2.75 new Covid cases in last 24 hours, its biggest single-day spike with total cases past the 1.5 crore mark since the start of the pandemic. The fast-spreading cases and ensuing restrictions by states could dampen the pace of economic recovery, fear investors.
This concern was also visible among foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who have pulled out a net Rs 4,615 crore from Indian markets in April so far. If they turn net sellers in April, that would be the first monthly selling since September 2020. Hence the flow will be closely watched going forward.
That apart, oil price movement, rupee's trajectory versus the dollar and global cues are likely to influence market mood this week.
And now, let's take a look at the trade setup for today.
Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2 week highs on Monday helped by expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over, while Covid-19 vaccine rollouts help ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections.
Australian shares were 0.25 per cent higher while South Korea's KOSPI added 0.4 per cent and Japan's Nikkei eased 0.4 per cent.
However, back home, indices looked poised for a gap-down start as India continues to report a record spike in Covid cases. At 7.40 am, SGX Nifty was ruling 170 points down at 14,472.
On the stock-specific front, shares of Macrotech Developers will list on the bourses today. The IPO that ran between April 7-9 was subscribed 1.36 times. The issue price has been fixed at Rs 486 per share.
ACC, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, Bajaj Consumer Care, CRISIL, Agio Paper & Industries, Pratik Panels, Response Informatics, and Sri Chakra Cement will release quarterly numbers on April 19.
HDFC Bank on Saturday reported a 15.8 per cent YoY rise in its consolidated net profit at Rs 8,434 crore for the quarter ended March 2021. The private sector lender had registered a net profit of Rs 7,280 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
Mindtree said its consolidated net profit rose by 53.9 per cent YoY to Rs 317.3 crore in the March quarter on the back of strong operational efficiency and expressed confidence in logging double-digit growth in FY22.
Debt-ridden Coffee Day Enterprises said trading in its shares would be resumed at BSE and NSE from April 26.