Sensex, Nifty expected to open sharply lower; Shares of Coal India, SBI, Wipro and Nazara Tech are under consideration
Indian equity benchmarks are set to open with heavy losses on Monday after Asian shares plunged 4% in Hong Kong and Japan, amid economic uncertainty sparked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising prices crude oil. High risk aversion in the market due to the sustained rise in commodity prices and continued sell-offs by foreign portfolio investors may also be keeping investors nervous. Negative trends on SGX Nifty also signaled a lower open for domestic exchanges, with SGX Nifty futures trading at 420 points, or 2.58%, down to 15,824 on the Singapore Stock Exchange as of 07:55.
Friday, Domestic stock markets continued their losing streak for the third straight session as investor sentiment was shaken by reports of Russian strikes at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The 30-stock Sensex opened lower and lost as much as 1,215 points during the day, before closing 769 points, or 1.4%, down to 54,334. The Nifty 50 index hit a intraday low of 16,134 but reversed losses to settle at 16,243, down 255 points or 1.5%. The market saw widespread selling, with all sector indices closing in the red. The autos and metals indices were among the worst performers, while the computer and technology sectors fell the least. The top five losers in the BSE Sensex were Titan Company, Maruti Suzuki India, Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL).
Coal India: Supplies from the country’s largest coal mine to the power sector reached a record high of 493 million tonnes (mt) in the current fiscal year, surpassing the previous record of 491.5 mt seen in the during FY19. Soaring coal prices in the context of sanctions against Russia should also have a positive impact on the public company.
State Bank of India (SBI): The country’s largest lender has appointed former Ujjivan Small Finance Bank CEO Nitin Chugh as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) to boost digital banking.
Vodafone idea: The promoters of the telecommunications company have amended the shareholders’ pact to secure their governing rights with the plan to issue equity to the central government. The company will hold an extraordinary general meeting (AGE) on March 26.
3i Infotech: The company has been awarded a contract worth ₹12.85 crore from the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to design, develop, implement and maintain an integrated e-governance solution for Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board.
Wipro: Designit, a company owned by Wipro, has announced the appointment of Nicolas (Nic) Parmaksizian as Managing Director.
Nazara Technologies: Investor-backed mobile gaming company Ace Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said its board has approved the issuance of shares worth ₹25 crore to existing shareholders of Datawrkz Business Solutions. These shares will be issued on a preferential basis, at a price of ₹2,260 per share.
V-Mart Retail: SBI Funds Management, through various schemes, acquired an additional 4.5% stake in the clothing retailer through open market transactions on March 3. Thus, SBI Funds Management’s stake in the company increased to 8.76%.
Balkrishna Industries: The tire maker began commercial production of the brownfield expansion and debottlenecking project at its Bhuj plant ahead of schedule.
India Tube Investments: Murugappa Group said its subsidiary, TI Clean Mobility, bought a 70% stake in Cellestial E-Mobility.
Here are the key things investors should know before the market opens today:
Wall Street ends lower on Ukraine concerns
All three major US indexes ended lower on Friday as concerns over the war in Ukraine overshadowed the recovery in the US job market. Market sentiments were shaken amid a report that Russian troops have taken control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Labor Department data showed jobs rose by 678,000 last month and the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%, the lowest since February 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average said fell 0.53%, the S&P 500 lost 0.79% and the Nasdaq Composite fell. 1.66%.
Asian stocks tumble in early trades
Asia-Pacific stocks plunged in early trade on Monday as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues to undermine investor sentiment. The continued spike in commodity prices, including crude oil, and the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy also dragged markets lower.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 plunged 3.6%, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 2.5% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.55%.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the worst performer in the region with a loss of 4.1%, while Australia’s ASX 200 index fell 1.4%.
In mainland China, the Shenzhen component fell 1.9%, while the Shanghai Composite lost 1.4% in first trades.
Brent surges above $130 due to supply issues
Oil prices continued their uptrend, with Brent futures breaking above $130 a barrel on Monday amid a report that the United States and its allies are considering banning Russian oil imports and natural gas. Crude oil prices have risen since Russia invaded Ukraine amid fears that sanctions against Russia, a major oil producer, could further tighten fuel supplies. Russia accounts for a third of Europe’s natural gas supply and 10% of world oil production. About a third of Russia’s gas supplies to Europe typically transit through pipelines crossing Ukraine.
In the early hours of trading in Asia on Monday, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 7.35% to $124.17 a barrel, while Brent oil futures jumped 8.6% to $128.18 a barrel.
REITs withdraw ₹17,537 crore from Indian markets
Foreign portfolio investors (REITs) flushed ₹17,537 crore from Indian markets in just three March trading sessions amid political uncertainty and a surge in crude prices sparked by the Russian-Ukrainian war. According to exchange data, REITs withdrew ₹14,721 crore from equities, ₹2,808 crore from the debt segment and ₹9 crore from hybrid instruments during this period.
According to data available on the NSE, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the Indian stock market on March 4, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers. FIIs sold shares worth ₹7,631 crore, while DIIs bought shares worth ₹4,739 crore.