Indian equity benchmarks, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are set to rise in opening trade on Friday, following firm cues from Asian stocks which rose despite mixed closing on Wall Street overnight. The positive trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 179 points, or 1.1%, higher at 15,995 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:05 AM. The market will also react to elevated retail inflation numbers which raised fear of a possible rate hike by the Reserve Bank in its next policy meeting scheduled next month. India’s retail inflation rate in April soared to an eight-year high at 7.79% over 4.23% in the same month of the previous year fuelled by the high prices of vegetables and oils. Investors will also keep an eye on corporate earnings as some major companies such as State Bank of India, Tech Mahindra, Bank of Baroda, Bandhan Bank, Union Bank of India, Eicher Motors, and Emami will release their March quarter earnings.

On Thursday, the domestic bourses closed lower for the fifth straight session, triggered by weak global cues as investors weighed aggressive policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve and strict Covid-19 lockdown measures in China. The 30-share Sensex closed 1,158 points, 2.14% lower, at 52,930, with 28 index heavyweights closing in the red zone. In a similar trend, the Nifty50 settled 359 points lower at 15,808. In line with the equity market, the forex market also faced the wrath of the investors, with the rupee plunging to a fresh lifetime low of 77.63 against US dollar in intraday amid surge in foreign fund outflows.

Shares to focus

Tata Motors: Continuing the losses in the fifth straight quarter, the auto giant reported a net loss of ₹1,033 crore for the January-March quarter compared to a ₹7,605 crore net loss during the same period last year. The revenue also fell 11% to ₹78,439 crore during the said quarter vs ₹88,627.90 crore during a year-ago period.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T): The engineering and construction major has posted a 10% year-on-year jump in consolidated net profit to ₹3,621 crore for the quarter ended March 2022, aided by large order wins from international customers. Consolidated revenue rose 10% year-on-year to ₹52,851 crore in the fourth quarter, according to its exchange filing.

Future Retail: The Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday gave more time to the Future Group company to file its reply to the insolvency petition moved by Bank of India against the company.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB): The private lender on Thursday reported a 7% drop in its net profit to ₹126.5 crore for the last quarter of the fiscal ended in March 2022, as against ₹136 crore in the same quarter of the preceding fiscal year 2020-21. Total income during the quarter under review increased to ₹920 crore as against ₹735 crore in the year-ago period.

Poonawalla Fincorp Ltd (PFL): The financial services company reported a consolidated net profit of ₹119 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 2022 (Q4FY22), against a consolidated loss of ₹648 crore in Q4FY21. The company’s board recommended a dividend payment of 20% for FY22 subject to shareholder’s approval.

Aditya Birla Capital: The company on Thursday reported a YoY growth of 20% in its consolidated profit after tax at ₹450 crore in March quarter of 2022, while consolidated revenue rose 18% YoY to ₹6,962 crore.

Hindustan Construction Company (HCC): The company logged a 80.36% drop in consolidated net profit at ₹30.88 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, against ₹157.28 crore in the year-ago period. Total income during the quarter under review stood at ₹2,946.16 crore, compared to ₹2,398.38 crore in the year-ago period.

Apollo Tyres: The tyre maker saw its consolidated net profit declining by 61% YoY to ₹113 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2022. Revenue from operations rose by 11% YoY to ₹5,578 crore, as against ₹5,026 crore in the fourth quarter of FY21.

Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd (KPTL): The engineering company and its subsidiaries have bagged new orders worth ₹4,474 crore. The board of the company has approved to buyback shares worth up to ₹75 crore of the company, at a price of ₹1,150 per share.

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

Wall Street ends tad lower

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices ended a tad lower in choppy trade as investors were unnerved by elevated inflation which triggered concerns of accelerated rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The market saw wild swings as uncertainty about future economic growth kept investors on edge. The S&P 500 ended 0.13% lower, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.33%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.06%.

Asian stocks rebound

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were trading mostly higher in opening deals on Friday, undermining soft cues from Wall Street, amid bargain hunting in beaten-down stocks. Investors juggled signs of surging inflation which bolstered the case for higher interest rates globally.

Regional heavyweight Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied 2.5%, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.9%, and South Korea’s KOSPI surged 1.6%.

Similarly, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 1.4%, Australia’s ASX 200 climbed 1.3%, and Taiwan’s Weighted index soared 1.2%. Bucking the trend, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite fell 0.6%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively, in early trade.

Crude prices rise on fear of Russia's oil ban

The price of Brent and U.S. crude rose over 1% in early trade on Friday due to supply concerns as the European Union proposed to ban energy imports from Russia. The international crude prices have witnessed wild volatility this week as economic concerns and recession fears amid hawkish policy stance by central banks globally have created uncertainty about future demand outlook.

In Asian trading hours on Friday, the Brent oil for July delivery was up 1.05% at $108.6 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude June futures rose 0.90% to $107.1 a barrel.

Corporate earnings

The companies that are slated to release their earnings numbers today include State Bank of India, Tech Mahindra, Bank of Baroda, Bandhan Bank, Union Bank of India, Eicher Motors, Emami, Escorts. Among others, Alkem Laboratories, Amber Enterprises India, APL Apollo Tubes, Balkrishna Industries, Carborundum Universal, CESC, Coromandel Engineering Company, DB Corp, Elgi Equipments, JK Paper, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Hindustan Aeronautics, Linde India, Nazara Technologies, REC, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power, Sharda Cropchem, Sigachi Industries, Steel Strips Wheels, Triveni Turbine, UCO Bank, and Vakrangee will also unveil its March quarter earnings on May 13.

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