Indian equity benchmarks are poised to open in red on Tuesday as fear of full-scale war in Ukraine spooked global equity markets. The negative trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a bearish opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 192 points, or 1.12%, lower at 17,013 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:00 AM.

On Monday, the Indian equity benchmarks ended lower for the fourth straight session amid persistent concerns about Ukraine-Russia tensions and fear of aggressive policy stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The BSE Sensex closed 149 points, or 0.26%, lower at 57,683, and the NSE Nifty dropped 69 points, or 0.4%, to 17,206. On the sectoral front, all indices closed in negative terrain, except banks, while oil and gas and metal indices declined the most. The top five losers on the BSE Sensex pack were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, ITC, UltraTech Cement, and Tech Mahindra.

Stocks to watch

HDFC Bank: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has ruled in favour of the country’s largest private sector lender by quashing an order issued by the private regulator Sebi against the bank for invoking shares pledged by broker BRH Wealth Advisor.

Hero MotoCorp: The auto major has created a new position, ‘Chief Growth Officer’, integrating the marketing, sales and after-sales functions and has appointed Ranjivjit Singh to the post with immediate effect. Singh is currently heading the marketing function at the company.

CG Power and Industrial Solutions: The company in an exchange filing on Monday said that the Bombay High Court has quashed tax demand notice of ₹684.08 crore against the company issued by the I-T department.

NTPC: The government-owned power major has paid an interim dividend of ₹3,878.67 crore for the financial year 2021-22. The dividend paid was 40% of the paid-up equity share capital of the company.

Tata Power: The Tata Group company has teamed up with Germany-based RWE Renewable GmbH to explore the potential for joint development of offshore wind projects in India.

Sintex Industries: Lenders of the debt-laden company will file a plea before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to seek an extension of time for the completion of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) and select a bidder for the textiles maker. The Committee of Creditors (CoC) in a meeting held on Monday "discussed and approved the proposal for extension of CIRP period beyond 330 days", it said in an exchange filing on Monday.

Stocks under F&O ban: Two stocks – Escorts and Punjab National Bank – will be under the F&O ban today. The ban is imposed on companies in which the security breaches 95% of the market-wide position limit.

Here are the key things investors should know before the market opens today:

Ukraine-Russia crisis

In a fresh development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced plans to send troops to “maintain peace” in two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, increasing the risk of a major war in Eastern European region. In a televised interview, Putin described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia's history, and recognised Donetsk and Luhansk as independent entities.

The United States and other Western countries have condemned the move by Russia and vowed to support Ukraine’s call for an urgent UN Security Council meeting.

Global stocks fall as Ukraine tensions mount

Global equity markets fell after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced it will send a "peacekeeping" force into eastern Ukraine's two breakaway regions. The U.S. markets were closed on Monday due to the Presidents Day public holiday, while European stocks closed lower as investors reacted to the Russia-Ukraine situation.

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region also extended fall for the second straight session and opened lower on Tuesday amid escalating political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, while fear of aggressive rate hikes by the U.S. central bank also injected negativity in the market.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 plunged 1.95% in early deals, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.5%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore shed 0.8%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the worst performer in the region by falling 2.2%, Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 1.2%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen component and the Shanghai composite nosedived 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively, in early deals.

FIIs remain net sellers, DIIs net buyers

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the Indian equity market on February 21, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) emerged as net buyers. As per the data available on the NSE, FIIs sold shares worth ₹2,261.90 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹2,392.85 crore.

Brent crude hits fresh 7-year high

Global benchmark Brent crude breached $97 a barrel in early trade on Tuesday, hitting fresh 7-year highs after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered forces into eastern Ukraine's two breakaway regions. Investors feared that rising geopolitical tensions may lead to further supply disruptions in an already-tight market. The US and European Union have warned that they would impose sanctions on Russia if it invaded its neighbouring country.

During the early Asian trading hours on Tuesday, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures surged 2.7% to $93.75 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures rose 1.3% to $96.70 per barrel.

Gold hits 9-month high on Ukraine Crisis

Gold prices were trading near a nine-month high on Tuesday as a sharp sell-off in equities prompted investors to shift focus to safer assets such as gold. The global equity markets witnessed sharp selling amid the risk of war in the eastern Ukraine region. Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,908.84 per ounce at the time of reporting.

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