The equity benchmarks, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are poised to open on a soft note on Thursday, tracking mixed trading in Asia and a negative finish on Wall Street overnight. Investors would assess the Federal Reserve’s next policy move after U.S. inflation surged to a four-decade high in June. The weak trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a muted opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 30 points, or 0.2%, lower at 15,942 levels on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:05 AM. Investors will keep an eye on first quarter earnings reports of ACC, L&T Infotech, GTPL Hathway, and Tata Elxsi, while the rupee-dollar trend, Brent crude oil price, and foreign funds movement will also be on their radar.

On Wednesday, the domestic bourses extended its losing streak for the third straight day due to a surge in selling across oil & gas, power, banking, and IT stocks amid weak global trends. The 30-share Sensex ended 372 points, or 0.69%, lower at 53,514, and the broader NSE Nifty fell 92 points, or 0.57%, to settle below the 16k level at 15,967. In the last three sessions, Sensex shed 967 points, while Nifty lost 254 points. The top losers on the Sensex pack were IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, HDFC Bank, and Reliance Industries. Among sectors, utilities declined the most, followed by oil & gas, power, energy, finance, and teck. In line with equities, the rupee also continued its losing spree and closed at a fresh low against the U.S. dollar for the third straight day on strong demand for the greenback. The domestic currency ended at a fresh low of 79.64 after touching a lifetime intraday low of 79.68 to the dollar.

Stocks to watch

Infosys: The IT major has signed a pact to acquire Denmark-based BASE life science for about 110 million euros (₹875 crore) in an all-cash deal.

Mindtree: The IT services firm has reported a 37.3% growth in profit for the April-June quarter of Q1 FY23 at ₹471.6 crore as compared to c343.4 crore profit during Q1 FY22. The revenue from operations grew 36.2% to ₹3,121.1 crore during Q1 FY23, from ₹2,219.7 crore in the same period last year.

Tata Metaliks: The Tata Group firm has posted a sharp fall in net profit to ₹1.22 crore during the June quarter, compared to ₹94.72 crore in the same period last year, mainly on account of higher expenses. The total income increased marginally to ₹669.35 crore, from ₹606.45 crore in the year-ago period.

HDFC: Mortgage lender has said it will launch secured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on a private placement basis on Friday to raise up to ₹5,000 crore.

Dabur India: The FMCG major, through its subsidiaries, has acquired the entire stake in Bangladesh-based Asian Consumer Care from its joint venture partner Advanced Chemical Industries for about ₹51 crore. Dabur owned 76% stake in the firm before acquisition through its subsidiary Dabur International, while the remaining 24 per cent was held by Advanced Chemical Industries.

Jubilant Pharmova: Jubilant Pharma, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, has signed an agreement with Standard Chartered Bank for a five-year loan of $400 million, about ₹3,186 crore.

JSW Energy: The company’s subsidiary, JSW Neo Energy, has won a 300 MW wind energy project from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

Raymond: The apparel retailer has announced that the nomination and remuneration committee of the company has appointed ex-Coca-Cola veteran Atul Singh to lead the Group.

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

Wall Street falls as inflation surges

In the overnight trade, U.S. stocks ended lower amid rate hike concerns following the bigger-than-expected rise in the year-on-year consumer price index (CPI). The inflation in the US surged to 9.1% in June, the highest since 1981, as per the data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. The spike in inflation would potentially allow the Federal Reserve to continue its aggressive policy stance and deliver another 75-100 bps rate hike in their upcoming policy review later this month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 0.7% lower, the S&P 500 shed 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2%.

Asian stocks mixed

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were trading on a mixed note on Thursday, tracking a weak closing on Wall Street overnight, after U.S. inflation surged 9.1% in June, the largest in more than four decades, paving the way for aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. The persistent concerns about the global economic slowdown in the face of the Covid-19 resurgence in China and rate hike by central banks globally also weighed on investors’ sentiments.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1% in opening trade, the Straits Times in Singapore dropped 0.4%, and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong traded marginally lower.

Bucking the trend, regional heavyweight Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.7%, Taiwan Weighted Index rose 0.2%, and Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.3%. The Jakarta Composite in Indonesia was also up around 0.1%.

Markets in mainland China were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite falling by 0.2%, while the Shenzhen Component rose by 0.6%.

Crude prices hover around $100

Brent and U.S. crude continue to trade below $100 per barrel on Thursday amid looming fear of an aggressive rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve to curb cost after inflation touched a four-decade high in June. Adding to it, weak demand outlook due to fresh lockdowns in China, fears of a global economic slowdown, and a strong dollar also dented sentiments.

In Asian trading hours on Thursday, the Brent oil for September delivery rose 0.27% to $99.9 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude August futures were up 0.27% at $96.53 a barrel.

FIIs extend selling spree

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued their selling spree in the Indian equities on July 13, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) extended their support to the market. As per the exchange data, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹2,839.5 crore, while DIIs purchased shares worth ₹ 1,799.2 crore.

Corporate results

ACC, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, GTPL Hathway, Tata Elxsi, Tata Steel Long Products, Angel One, Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, Butterfly Gandhimathi Appliances, Earum Pharmaceuticals, Shakti Pumps (India), and Tiger Logistics (India) will unveil their June quarter results today.

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