The BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty are set to open higher on Thursday, tracking strong cues from Asia and overnight gains in U.S. stocks. Investors globally awaited a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Friday at the Jackson Hole central bankers' summit for clues about the pace of future interest rate hikes. Back home, positive trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 82 points, or 0.47%, higher at 17,697 levels on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:00 AM. The market may see some volatility ahead of the expiry of August futures and options contracts today as investors will roll over their positions on the expiry date.

On Wednesday, the Indian equities managed to close higher for a second straight day in volatile trade, tracking mixed cues from global peers, while gains in the financial space were offset by losses in IT stocks. The BSE Sensex rose 54 points to close above the 59,000 mark at the 59,085 level. Similarly, the Nifty50 advanced 27 points to end above the 17,600 mark. The top gainers on the Sensex pack were IndusInd Bank, NTPC, ICICI Bank, L&T. On the other hand, Tata Steel, TCS, Titan, Sun Pharma, ITC, Reliance Industries, and Maruti Suzuki India.

Stocks to watch

Bharti Airtel: Singapore Telecommunications has announced that it will sell a 3.3% stake in Bharti Airtel to Bharti Telecom Ltd for $1.61 billion. After the stake sale, Singtel's shareholding in Bharti Airtel will come down to 29.7%.

TCS: The country’s largest software exporter has clarified that it would pay 100% of variable pay for its 6 lakh plus employees for the June quarter of this fiscal.

NHPC: The state-owned company said that its subsidiary NHPC Renewable Energy (NHPC REL) has inked a pact with the Government of Rajasthan to develop 10 GW mega renewable energy power parks in Rajasthan. It has also signed a deal with Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) to set up a large capacity solar equipment manufacturing facility.

Canara Bank: The public sector lender plans to raise up to ₹3,500 crore through tier II bonds in tranches to meet capital adequacy ratio and growth requirements.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC): The oil and gas major has relaunched a tender to sell gas from its KG fields at a higher price of $15 per mmBtu as it eyes to capitalise recent rebound in global energy prices.

Wipro: The IT major has appointed Wagner Jesus as the Country Head and Managing Director for operations in Brazil.

Barbeque-Nation Hospitality: Domestic rating agency ICRA has upgraded the credit rating for the bank facilities of ₹15.50 crore of the company to A (Stable). The rating for ₹5 crore bank facilities has been upgraded to A2+.

PSP Projects: The company has secured contracts worth ₹247.35 crore from precast and government segments.

Future Lifestyle Fashions: Investor PI Opportunities Fund I has offloaded 6.24 lakh equity shares, or 0.31%, stake in the company via open market transactions, bringing down its shareholding in the company to 2.76%.

RBL Bank: The stock will be under the NSE F&O ban today as it has crossed 95% of the market-wide position limit.

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

Wall Street ends higher

In the overnight trade, the U.S. indices closed higher, snapping a three-session losing streak, supported by gains in energy stocks and hopes that inflation might have peaked, and the Fed may raise interest rate hikes at a slower pace. Investors awaited the speech by Fed chairman Jerome Powell at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on the outlook for inflation and interest rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, the S&P 500 added 0.2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 0.5% higher on Wednesday.

Asian shares trade higher

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region edged higher in opening trade on Thursday, tracking positive finish at Wall Street overnight as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole conference this week for more clarity on the pace of future rate hikes and the central bank’s plan to combat inflation.

Regional heavyweight Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.85%, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite traded flat with marginal gains.

Similarly, Taiwan Weighted index rallied 1%, Australia’s ASX 200 jumped 0.8%, and Singapore’s Straits Times climbed 0.5%.

Markets in mainland China were trading lower, with the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component falling by 0.2% and 0.35%, respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng market was closed today.

FIIs turn net buyers, DIIs net sellers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net buyers in the Indian equity market on August 24, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) turned net sellers. As per the exchange data, FIIs net purchased shares worth ₹ 23.19 crore, while DIIs net offloaded stocks worth ₹322.34 crore.

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