Domestic stock markets are likely to start Wednesday’s session on a lower note, a day after benchmark indices recouped all of the losses registered on February 1 when the government presented its Budget in Parliament. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty – an early indicator of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty index in India – declined as much as 44 points to 11,929.00 ahead of the opening of Indian markets. At 8:26 am, the SGX Nifty futures traded down 14.50 points – or 0.12 per cent – at 11,958.50.
Equities in other Asian markets steadied as Chinese stocks nudged higher on hopes of additional stimulus to lessen the economic impact of a coronavirus outbreak, but risks remain as the illness continues to spread and the death toll neared 500. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.36 per cent higher.
Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose 0.99 per cent, supported by shares of industrial equipment makers.
Back home, analysts awaited the outcome of the Reserve Bank of India’s bi-monthly policy review meeting due on Thursday, February 6. The central bank is widely expected to maintain its “accommodative” stance of policy without lowering interest rates as inflation stays above its comfort zone.
The central bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) cut rates by 135 basis points over five straight meetings last year, before surprising markets in December by holding the policy repo steady at 5.15 per cent due to growing concerns over inflation.
Bharti Airtel shares will be in focus on Wednesday, a day after the private sector telecom major reported its third straight quarterly loss.
India’s third-largest telecom firm posted a loss of Rs 1,035 crore for the quarter ended December 31, as against a profit of Rs 86.2 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, as it booked Rs 1,050 crore in charges related to spectrum fee payments and write-downs of network equipment.
Earlier on Tuesday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had soared 917.07 points – or 2.30 per cent – to end at 40,789.38 and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark risen 271.75 points – or 2.32 per cent – to settle at 11,979.65, as analysts said the market participants reassessed the key Budget announcements.