Indian equity benchmarks are likely to rise in opening trade on Monday, mirroring subdued cues from Asian peers and a positive finish at Wall Street on Friday. The fall in crude prices amid rising Covid-19 cases in China and hopes of progress in Russian-Ukrainian peace talks are likely to support market sentiments. The positive trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 30 points, or 0.17%, higher at 17,221 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:45 AM.

On Friday, the domestic bourses ended lower for the third straight session, led by sharp losses in consumer durables and capital goods stocks such as Titan Company, Bajaj Electricals, Tata Steel, and Voltas. The 30-share Sensex ended at 57,362, down 233.5 points or 0.4%, and the Nifty50 closed at 17,153, down 70 points or 0.4%. Among sectors, realty and power indices were among the best performers, while capital goods (CGS) and consumer durables (CDS) saw maximum selling activities. From the 30-share pack on the BSE Sensex, Titan Company was the worst performer, followed by Tech Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Steel, and Nestle India, among others.

Stocks to focus

Wipro: The board of the IT major approved an interim dividend of ₹5 per equity share of par value ₹2 each for the financial year 2021-22.

Adani Total Gas: The gas distribution company has entered into electric mobility by launching its first electric vehicle charging station (EVCS) in Ahmedabad.

Bharti Airtel: The telecom major has proposed to acquire over a 7% stake in Avaada KNShorapur for cash consideration of ₹1.74 crore.

DLF: The real estate major reportedly plans to invest around ₹2,000 crore to construct two new shopping malls in Gurugram and Goa.

Vodafone Idea: The shareholders of debt-laden telecom company have approved a proposal to raise ₹14,500 crore. Shareholders approved the proposal at the extraordinary general meeting held on Saturday.

Manappuram Finance: The Kerela-based NBFC has received its board approval to raise up to ₹7,800 crore in the next financial year. The capital raise plan includes issuance of redeemable non-convertible debentures by way of private placement or public issue in one or more tranches.

InterGlobe Aviation: Budget carrier IndiGo has launched 100 flights connecting key domestic metro cities and regional centres, starting from March 27, 2022.

GAIL India: The board of state-run gas utility firm will meet on March 31 to consider the buyback of shares - the second buyback in as many years.

PVR, INOX: The two multiplex chains have announced a merger to create a network of over 1,500 screens across 109 cities in India.

Reliance Infra, Reliance Power: Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Power and Reliance Infrastructure, following the SEBI’s order restraining him from trading in securities or being associated with any listed companies.

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

Wall Street ends higher on Friday

The major U.S. indices closed higher on Friday as treasury yield surged to its highest level in nearly three years amid rate hike concerns. Investors remained on edge amid uncertainties regarding Russia-Ukraine conflict and hawkish policy stance by the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.44%, the S&P 500 added 0.51%, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.16% amid losses in growth-driven technology stocks.

Asian stocks edge lower

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region edged lower in opening trade on Monday, undermining positive cues from Wall Street, as the Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai, China’s financial hub, dented market sentiment. Investors also kept an eye on the progress in Russian-Ukranian peace talks to be held in Turkey this week.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 dropped 0.6%, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.05%, and Taiwan’s Weighted index plunged 1.6% in early trade.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component shed 0.45%, while the Shanghai Composite traded 0.35% lower.

Bucking the trend, Hang Seng index in Hong Kong surged 1.3%, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 0.3% and Australia’s ASX 200 index traded 0.4% higher.

Petrol, diesel prices hiked again

Petrol and diesel prices were hiked for the sixth time in the last one week in wake of the recent rise in the international crude oil market. This was the first fuel price hike since November 2, 2021, when the government had cut excise duty to keep the fuel rates in check. Petrol and diesel were raised by 30 paise and 35 paise, respectively, in Delhi, taking the overall hike to ₹4-4.10 per litre in the last seven days.

In the Asian trading hours on Monday, the U.S. WTI crude futures were down 2.86% to $110.70 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures dropped 2.52% to $114.53 per barrel.

FIIs turn net seller, DIIs remain net buyer

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to remain net sellers in the Indian equity market on March 25, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) remained net buyers. As per the exchange data, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹1,507.37 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹1,373.02 crore.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.