Unfavourable global market cues, unabated rise in Covid cases and hiccups in vaccination drive are among factors that are likely to drive Indian markets lower on Friday after four straight sessions of gains this week. Furthermore, stock-specific action is expected to influence market trajectory on an earnings heavy day.
At 7.20 am, SGX Nifty was ruling 141 points lower at 14,790, indicating a gap-down start to the May F&O series.
India for the ninth day in a row recorded fresh Covid infections over 3 lakh with the caseload inching closer to the 4 lakh mark as India reported 3,86,693 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. Amid this backdrop, the pace of vaccination assumes importance, however, several states are flagging shortages of the same.
Mumbai for instance announced halting vaccination programme for three days due to the non-availability of vaccine stock. Such instances might unsettle market bulls who are banking on the vaccination drive to pull India out of the Covid crisis.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday to discuss the prevailing Covid situation in the country. The meeting, to be held virtually on Friday morning, could also be attended by some top government officials besides Union ministers, according to the report.
On the global market front, US stocks rose to a record as investors digested the latest batch of corporate earnings and data that showed the American economy gained steam in the first three months of the year.
The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, the Nasdaq 100 added 0.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7%.
However, Asian markets failed to mirror the sentiment and started on a weak note as China’s crackdown on technology firms dented sentiment. While Japan's Nikkei index was steady, Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6%, Hang Seng Index slid 1.2% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.6%. S&P futures also declined 0.2%.
Apart from news on the Covid front and global cues, exit poll outcome may also hold sway over market mood. Pollsters have given an edge to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, a clean sweep for the DMK-led alliance and CPI(M)-led LDF in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, respectively. BJP is likely to retain Assam and Puducherry. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
Now, a look at the stock-specific triggers that are likely to guide the market today
A total of 27 companies are slated to post their March quarter numbers including Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, YES Bank, Marico and Can Fin Homes.
Mukesh Ambani-led RIL is expected to witness an increase of 8 per cent (on average) in its consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) in the March quarter (Q4), led by a strong improvement in the profit of Jio, its telecom business.
The Street is expecting a solid bottom-line growth, with up to 261 per cent year-on-year gain in net profit for IndusInd Bank. The operating metrics may weaken and remain subdued due to lower other income.
Titan reported a 66% year-on-year (YoY) rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 568 crore for the March quarter of FY21. Its margins, however, contracted to 10.9% from 13% posted in the same quarter last year.
Ambuja Cement's profit jumped 71% YoY to Rs 947.21 as against Rs 554.25 crore posted in the corresponding quarter a year ago. The revenue climbed 23% YoY to Rs 7,714.81 crore.
A special resolution to appoint Samit Ghosh as CEO of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd. was defeated as it didn’t get the requisite share of votes.
Lastly, an update on the primary market. The IPO by PowerGrid InvIT received a 10% subscription on the first day of the share sale. The issue closed on May 3.