Indian equity benchmarks are likely to open on a muted note on Friday, following mixed cues from Asian peers. The SGX Nifty futures were trading 70 points, or 0.4%, higher at 17,589 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:15 AM.

On Thursday, the domestic benchmarks closed lower, snapping their 3-day gaining streak, as investors resorted to profit booking after a recent rally and mixed global cues. The weak cues from European markets and negative trading in the U.S. futures also dragged the market lower. The BSE Sensex closed 770 points, or 1.29%, lower at 58,788, and the NSE Nifty fell 220 points, 1.24%, to 17,560. On the sectoral front, all indices, barring auto and consumer durables, ended in negative terrain, while IT and technology declined the most. The top five losers in the BSE Sensex pack were HDFC, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, Bajaj Finserv, and Bajaj Finance.

Stocks to focus

Dr Reddy's Laboratories: The pharma major has signed a deal to acquire Germany-based Nimbus Health GmbH, a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler focused on medical cannabis. The acquisition will help Dr Reddy's to build on Nimbus Health's strengths and introduce medical cannabis-based medicines as a promising treatment option for patients.

Bosch: The motor and generator manufacturing company has proposed to invest around ₹1,000 crore in the localisation of advanced automotive technologies over the next five years. Adding to it, the company has also launched its mobility marketplace to provide its mobility-related assets under one platform.

Barbeque-Nation Hospitality: The company reported a consolidated net profit of ₹14.83 crore for the third quarter ended December 2021, as against a net loss ₹13.54 crore in the year ago period. Its revenue from operations rose 47% to ₹286.67 crore during the quarter under review as against ₹194.82 crore in the same period last year.

Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL): The state-owned company has said that its board has approved investments worth ₹677.59 crore for transmission projects. The 'Committee of Directors on Investment on Projects' at its meeting held on February 2 approved investments worth ₹677.59 crore, it said in a BSE filing.

Tata Steel: The country’s largest steelmaker is scheduled to release its December quarter earnings report today. The Tata Group company is expected to report robust earnings in the third quarter on the back of higher realisations and improved volumes across geographies.

ITC: The FMCG major posted a net profit of ₹4,156.20 crore in Q3FY22 against ₹3,687.88 crore in the year-ago period. The revenue also surged to ₹15,862.32 crore, from ₹11,969 crore in the corresponding period last year.

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

Wall Street ends lower as Meta, tech stocks drag

In the overnight trade, all three U.S. benchmarks closed lower, snapping a four-session gaining streak, as a sharp fall in Meta, formerly known as Facebook, dragged technology stocks lower. The benchmark S&P 500 tumbled 2.44%, the blue-chip Dow Jones index fell 1.45%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 3.74% lower.

Meta shares plummeted 26% after it witnessed the first-ever fall in daily active users (DAUs) in the December quarter, which triggered a selloff in stocks of the social media giant. Facebook’s global daily users declined to 1.929 billion in the quarter ended December 2021, compared with 1.930 billion in the previous quarter. The company has lost users for the first time in its 18-year history.

Hang Seng surges nearly 2% in mixed Asia-Pacific trade

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were trading on a mixed note on Friday, tracking weak cues from Wall Street which ended lower overnight amid a sharp sell-off in technology stocks. Besides, hawkish rate outlooks by the U.K. and European central banks also dented market sentiment. In a surprise move, the Bank of England raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points, against 25 bps projected by market analysts, to contain inflation that is on the verge to cross 7%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was the biggest gainer in the regional market by rising nearly 2%. Markets in Hong Kong resumed trade on Friday after being closed for most of this week for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged lower in early trade, while Australia’s ASX 200 index also traded tad lower. The Straits Times in Singapore rose 0.15%, while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.8%.

Markets in mainland China, Taiwan, were closed for the holiday.

Oil prices breach $90 for the first time since 2014

The crude oil prices breached $90 in overnight trade on Thursday for the first time since 2014 amid a spurt in fuel demand while supply remains constrained. The persistent concerns about geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine as well as in the Middle East also spooked investor sentiments. The oil price rose even after OPEC and its oil-producing allies (OPEC+), in its policy meeting on Wednesday, stuck to its previous plan to increase March production by 400,000 barrels per day.

During the early Asian trading hours, the global benchmark Brent crude futures traded higher by 0.69% to $91.60 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.75% at $90.94 a barrel.

In the overnight trade, Brent crude oil price rose 0.5% to $89.87 a barrel, while the U.S. WTI climbed 0.6% to $88.76 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Corporate earnings

The big players that will release their December quarter earnings reports today include Tata Steel, Bank of India, InterGlobe Aviation, One 97 Communications, REC, Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company, Siemens.

Among others, Aditya Birla Fashion, Alkem Laboratories, Astral, Antony Waste Handling Cell, Birla Corporation, CMS Info Systems, City Union Bank, Devyani International, Godrej Agrovet, Jubilant Pharmova, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Minda Corporation, Monte Carlo Fashions, Thermax, Shree Cement, Vadilal Industries, and Zee Learn, will also release their earnings report on February 4.

FIIs, DIIs turn net sellers

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) turned net sellers in the Indian equity market on February 3. As per the data available on the NSE, FIIs sold shares worth ₹1,597.5 crore, while DIIs offloaded shares worth ₹370.6 crore.

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