Indian equity benchmarks, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are set to open flat to lower on Monday, tracking mixed cues from Asian peers as investors assess the impact of rising inflation and rate hike on global economic growth. The soft trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a subdued opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 15 points, or 0.09%, lower at 16,239 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:15 AM. Investors will also keep an eye on corporate earnings as some major companies such as Zomato, Bharat Electronics (BEL), Ramco Cements, SAIL, Thomas Cook, TTK Healthcare, will release their March quarter earnings.

Snapping a five-week losing streak, the domestic bourses closed higher during the week ended March 20, supported by spurt in buying in beaten-down stocks. The BSE Sensex closed the week with a gain of 1,533 points to 54,326, and the NSE Nifty index added 484 points to 16,266. On Friday, the 30-share Sensex rallied 1,534 points to close at 54,326, notching its biggest single-day jump in over three months. Similarly, the broader Nifty surged 457 points to 16,266. Among sectors, all indices closed higher, while realty, metal, capital goods, industrials, healthcare, and energy gained the most.

Shares to watch

One97 Communications: The fintech company, which operates under Paytm brand, has posted a consolidated net loss of ₹762.5 crore as compared to a loss of ₹444.4 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. However, the consolidated revenue from operations jumped 89% to ₹1,540.9 crore compared with ₹815.3 crore in Q4FY21. Besides, the company formed a joint venture general insurance company in which it has committed to invest ₹950 crore over a period of 10 years.

Infosys: The IT major has reappointed Salil Parekh as the CEO and MD of the company for the period of five years. Parekh will be the first non-founder CEO who would be appointed for a second term.

Power Grid Corporation of India: The state-owned company has posted nearly 18% growth in its consolidated net profit at ₹4,156.44 crore for the March 2022 quarter, as against ₹3,526.23 crore in the year-ago quarter. Its total income increased to ₹11,067.94 crore, compared to ₹10,816.33 crore recorded in the corresponding period of FY21.

BHEL: The state-owned engineering firm has posted consolidated net profit of ₹912.47 crore in the March quarter of 2022, against a net loss of ₹1,036.32 crore in the same period last year. Total income rose to ₹8,181.72 crore, from ₹7,245.16 crore in the year-ago period.

NTPC: The state-owned power company has posted a 12% rise in consolidated net profit at ₹5,199.51 crore for the March 2022 quarter, as against ₹4,649.49 crore in the quarter ended in March 2021. Total income jumped 19% YoY to ₹37,724.42 crore.

IDBI Bank: The bank has entered into a share purchase agreement with Ageas Insurance International to sell its remaining 25% share in private sector life insurer Ageas Federal Life Insurance for ₹580 crore.

HCL Group: The IT major and UNLEASH, a global innovation programme for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have entered into partnership to develop innovative solutions to promote aquatic ecosystem conservation.

Prestige Estates Projects: Shares of the company will be in focus as the Bengaluru-based Prestige Group, which is foraying in the financial capital, mulls to invest at least ₹7,500 crore over the next four-five years to expand its base in the realty markets in the country.

JK Cement: The cement company plans to raise up to ₹500 crore via non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on a private placement basis in one or more tranches.

Karur Vysya Bank: The Tamil Nadu-based lender has reported a 105% growth in net profit at ₹213 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 2022, as against ₹104 crore during the January to March quarter of 2020-21. Net interest income for the quarter rose to ₹710 crore, compared to ₹613 crore in the year-ago period.

Oil stocks: Shares of oil marketing companies will be in focus after the Central government cut the central excise duty on petrol and diesel, ₹200 subsidy on LPG gas cylinder, among others. The Central excise duty on petrol was reduced by ₹8 per litre and on diesel by ₹6 per litre. This will reduce the price of petrol by ₹9.5 per litre and of diesel by ₹7 per litre.

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

Wall Street ends mixed

On Wall Street, the U.S. indices ended mixed on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indices closing a tad higher, while tech-heavy Nasdaq settled in negative terrain. Overall, the indices fell for a seventh straight week as concerns about sharper than expected reduction in interest rate by the Federal Reserve and uncertainty about economic growth weighed on investors’ sentiments. The Dow Jones index rose 0.03%, the S&P 500 closed 0.01% higher. The Nasdaq Composite settled with a loss of 0.3%.

Asian stocks trade on a subdued note

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region traded mixed in opening trade on Monday, in absence of any major cues from Wall Street, while investors remained worried about rising inflation and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on China.

Regional heavyweight Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%, Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.1%, Taiwan’s Weighted index added 0.2%. Among others, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite gained 0.04%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the top laggard in the regional market with a 1.35% loss. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, in early trade.

Oil prices edge higher

The price of Brent and U.S. crude were marginally up in early trade on Monday amid optimism that easing Covid-19 restrictions in China would boost demand prospects. However, the drop in the U.S. crude stockpiles and the looming fear of a ban on Russian oil imports pushed oil prices higher.

In Asian trading hours, the Brent oil for July delivery surged 0.6% to $110.7 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude June futures rose 0.5% to $110.86 a barrel.

FPIs withdraw ₹35,000 cr in May so far

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to remain net sellers in the Indian equity market, with foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) flushing out over ₹ 35,000 crore so far this month on concerns over the prospects of a more aggressive rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Overall, the net outflow by FPIs from Indian equities stood at ₹ 1.63 lakh crore so far in the calendar year 2022.

Corporate earnings

The major companies that are expected to release their March quarter earnings today include Zomato, Bharat Electronics, Birlasoft, Divis Laboratories, The Ramco Cement, TTK Healthcare, TRF, SAIL, Nelcast, Pricol, Patel Engineering, Igarashi Motors, Graphite India, Data Patterns (India), Shilpa Medicare, and Vaibhav Global.

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