Indian benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are poised to open higher on Friday, tracking firm cues from Asian peers and a strong finish at Wall Street overnight. The positive trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 71 points, or 0.41%, higher at 17,301 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:15 AM. Investors will also keep track on earnings reports with some major companies such as Maruti Suzuki India, Wipro, SBI Cards and Payment Services, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement, Tata Chemical, set to release their March quarter results today.

On Thursday, the domestic bourses ended over 1% higher in choppy trade on Thursday, led by buying in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HUL, and Infosys as well as firm cues from Asian peers. On the last day of April F&O expiry, the 30 BSE benchmark Sensex rose 701.67 points, or 1.23%, to end at 57,521. Similarly, the NSE Nifty jumped 206.65 points, or 1.21%, to 17,245. The top gainers on the BSE Sensex pack were HUL, Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, PowerGrid, NTPC, L&T, SBI, Infosys, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, ITC, and ICICI Bank. In the broader market, the BSE midcap index rose 0.83% and smallcap index gained 0.12%.

Shares to focus

Axis Bank: The private lender has reported a net profit of ₹4,118 crore for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2021-22, marking a rise of 54% from ₹2,677 crore reported in the year-ago period. Provisions and contingencies for Q4 FY22 slipped to ₹9.87 crore from ₹13.35 crore in Q4 FY21.

Tata Power: The Tata group company has signed a deal with National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) to install 5,000 EV charging points across Maharashtra.

Tata Motors: The auto major reportedly plans to ramp up annual production of electric vehicles (EVs) as it aims to produce more than 80,000 units this financial year, compared with the 19,000 EVs it built and sold in the last financial year.

Future Retail: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has given debt-laden company Future Retail Ltd (FRL) time till May 12 to submit its reply to the insolvency petition filed against the crisis-hit company by Bank of India.

SBI Life Insurance: The insurer has clocked a 26.3% rise in its net profit at ₹672 crore for quarter ended March 2022, as against ₹532 crore in the year-ago quarter. Total income increased to ₹21,427.88 crore, from ₹20,896.70 crore in the March quarter of 2021.

Biocon: The biopharma company has posted a 4% YoY drop in consolidated net profit to ₹283.9 crore in the fourth quarter ended on March 31, 2022. The company has appointed former HSBC India Chairperson Naina Lal Kidwai as an independent director.

Ambuja Cements: The cement major has reported a 30.26% year-on-year decline in its consolidated net profit to ₹856.46 crore for the first quarter ended March 2022 on account of rising fuel prices. Revenue from operations rose 2.4% to ₹7,900.04 crore in Q1FY22, compared to ₹7,714.81 crore in the same period last financial year.

Colgate-Palmolive (India): The FMCG company’s board has approved the appointment of Prabha Narasimhan, a former senior HUL executive, as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company for five years. Her appointment will be effective from September 1, 2022.

Piramal Enterprises: The company plans to raise up to ₹700 crore through issue of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on a private placement basis.

PNB Housing Finance: The mortgage lender has posted a 33% YoY rise in its net profit to ₹170 crore in the quarter ended March 2022. Total income, however, fell to ₹1,425.83 crore in Q4FY22, from ₹1,833.90 crore in the same quarter of the last year.

Embassy REIT: The Office space company saw its net profit rising five-fold to ₹280 crore in the March quarter of 2022, compared to the year-ago period. Consolidated revenue from operations rose 2% YoY to ₹783 crore.

Bank of Maharashtra: The state-owned bank has registered an over two-fold rise in its consolidated net profit at ₹355 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2022. Total income of the bank dropped to ₹3,948.48 crore in Q4FY22, as against ₹4,334.98 crore in the same quarter of FY21.

Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care: The company on Thursday reported a 4.6% YoY jump in its net profit to ₹102.85 crore for the third quarter ended March 2022. The company, which follows the July-June financial year, had posted a net profit of ₹98.33 crore in the corresponding period last year.

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

Wall Street ends higher

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed higher as investors cheered a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report from Meta Platforms, which boosted demand for beaten-down technology and growth stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.85% higher, while the S&P 500 rose 2.47%. In a similar trend, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 3.06%.

Asian stocks extend rally

Shares in the Asia region continued gaining momentum on Friday, tracking a strong finish at Wall Street overnight. The strong earnings reports by tech giants Meta, Facebook parent, and Apple Inc. shrugged-off investors’ concerns about the Covid-19 situation in China and worries about contraction in global economic growth.

Extending the rally for the second session, Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 rallied 1.75%, South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 0.8%.

Similarly, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 1.1%, Taiwan’s Weighted index rose 1.3%, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite soared 0.5%. bucking the trend, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.2%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4% each in early trade.

Oil prices fall on demand concerns

The price of Brent and U.S. crude oil retreated in early trade on Friday on concerns about bleak demand amid Covid-19 lockdowns in China. However, persistent concerns about tight supply amid curbs on Russia oil exports underpinned prices.

In Asian trading hours on Friday, the Brent oil for July delivery was down 0.34% at $106.9 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude June futures dropped 0.52% to $104.81 a barrel.

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices remained steady for the 23rd day on Friday, after several hikes in more than one month. The domestic oil companies have raised fuel rates by ₹10 per litre since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22, when the results of five Assembly polls were announced.

FIIs turn net buyers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net buyers in the Indian equity market for the first time in the last fifteen sessions on April 28, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to support the market. As per the exchange data, FIIs net brought shares worth ₹743.22 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹780.94 crore.

Corporate earnings

The major companies that are slated to release their earnings numbers today include Maruti Suzuki India, Wipro, SBI Cards and Payment Services, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement. Among others, Can Fin Homes, Geojit Financial Services, Gillette India, GNA Axles, Gokaldas Exports, HFCL, Just Dial, L&T Finance Holdings, Lloyds Metals and Energy, RPG Life Sciences, Shriram City Union Finance, Solara Active Pharma Sciences, Sonata Software, Star Health and Allied Insurance Company, Supreme Industries, Tanla Platforms, Tata Chemicals, and Thyrocare Technologies, will also unveil their March quarter results on April 29.

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