The markets are likely to start the week on a cautious note, post the gains witnessed in the past two weeks. The benchmark indices registered gains for the second consecutive week ending on April 17 as global markets rose on expectations that infections may be peaking in Europe and the US may ease lockdown of business as the number of reported cases is declining on daily basis. In the last week, the BSE Sensex rose 1.38 per cent to 31,588.72 and NSE Nifty climbed 1.7 per cent to 9,266.75.
Trends on SGX Nifty also indicate a negative opening for the index in India. The Nifty futures were trading at 9,256, lower by 52 points, on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
The Asian markets are trading lower this morning on expectations a busy week of corporate earnings reports and economic data will drive home the damage done by the global virus lockdown. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2 per cent in early trade. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3 per cent and South Korea 0.1 per cent.
US stocks rose on Friday and also posted gains for the week on President Donald Trump’s plan to reopen the coronavirus-battered economy and hopes of a potential drug by Gilead to treat COVID-19. The Dow Jones rose 704.81 points, or 2.99 per cent to 24,242.49, the S&P 500 gained 75.01 points, or 2.68 per cent, to 2,874.56 and Nasdaq Composite added 117.78 points, or 1.38 per cent, to 8,650.14.
Meanwhile, the government has amended the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy to discourage opportunistic investment in Indian companies by neighbouring countries. This move comes after China’s central bank raised stake in Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) to more than 1 percent.
On the corporate front, HDFC Bank on Saturday reported an increase of nearly 18 per cent in net profit for the March quarter, led by strong loan growth. The country’s largest private sector lender said its net profit came in at Rs 6,927.69 crore for the quarter ended March 31, as against Rs 5,885.12 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.
The Covid-19 developments and corporate earnings are likely to set the tone for equity markets this week, according to analysts. The total number of coronavirus cases in India has reached 17,615 and the death toll jumped to 556 in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. Infosys and ACC are the two major companies scheduled to announce their earnings this week.