Indian equity benchmarks are expected to open higher on Wednesday, following positive cues from Asian peers and strong finish at Wall Street overnight. The firm trends on the SGX Nifty futures also indicated a gap-up opening for domestic bourses, with Nifty futures trading 68.5 points, or 0.40%, higher at 17,328 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:00 AM.

The equity market may see cautious trading ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy outcome tomorrow. Interest rate sensitive stocks such as auto, banking, and realty, will be in focus ahead of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee decision. Investors will also keep a close eye on the policy outlook as they feared that policymakers may take note of rising Brent crude prices that hit $95 a barrel last week, raising inflationary concerns.

On Tuesday, the Indian share market closed marginally higher in choppy trade, led by gains in auto, metal, pharma, PSU bank stocks. The market swung between gains and losses as sustained selling by foreign institutional investors was offset by bargain hunting by domestic investors. Snapping three-session losing streak, the BSE Sensex closed 187 points, or 0.33%, higher at 57,808, and the NSE Nifty rose 53 points, or 0.31%, to settle at 17,267. Bucking the trend, the broader markets ended in negative terrain. The S&P BSE Midcap index fell 0.45%, and the S&P BSE Smallcap index dropped 1.4%. The top gainers on the BSE Sensex pack were Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, and Titan Company.

Shares to focus

Bharti Airtel: The country’s second largest telecom operator has reported a 3% year-on-year drop in net profit to ₹830 crore in the third quarter. The company clocked a 12.6% jump in revenue to ₹29,867 crore in the quarter ended December compared with ₹ 26,518 crore in the same period a year ago, according to its exchange filing.

Vedanta: The Anil Agarwal-owned company is reportedly in talk with investors to offer a bid for state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), which is slated for privatisation.

IRCTC: The ticketing arm of Indian Railways saw its net profit zooming 167% YoY to ₹208.80 crore in Q3FY22 as compared with ₹78.08 crore in the year ago period. Total income also rose 140.8% YoY to ₹540.21 crore.

Indraprastha Gas: The company posted drop in profit at ₹308.5 crore in Q3FY22 against ₹400.5 crore in Q2FY22. However, revenue rose to ₹2,125.46 crore from ₹1,831.19 crore QoQ.

Inox Wind: Inox Green Energy Services, an arm of Inox Wind, has filed document with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise ₹740 crore through public listing of shares. The offer will be a mix of a fresh issue of equity shares and an offer for sale by existing shareholders of the company.

Jindal Steel: The company reported 33.5% YoY drop in net profit at ₹1,622 crore for the quarter ended December 2021, as against ₹2,440 crore in the year ago period. Total income, however, rose 35% YoY to ₹12,525 crore.

Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS): The crisis hit company said that its board has approved a proposal for interim distribution of proceeds amounting to ₹20,000 crore by March end to group of creditors from the resolution of the entities of the group.

IDFC First Bank: The private sector lender has garnered ₹1,500 crore through issuance of its maiden issue of tier-II bonds to bolster capital profile and support business growth.

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

Wall Street ends higher on tech boost

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed higher, driven by gains in big tech companies and baking stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1%, the S&P 500 added 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite ended 1.28% higher.

Asian shares follow Wall Street higher

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region traded higher in early deals on Wednesday, following firm cues from Wall Street which finished higher overnight.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 0.9% in early deals, South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.56%, and the Straits Times in Singapore rose 0.15%. Australia’s ASX 200 index added 0.4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rallied 1.7%, while Taiwan Weighted Stock Index jumped 0.6%. China’s Shanghai Composite also gained 0.3% in early deals.

Corporate earnings

The big players that will release their December quarter earnings reports today include Power Grid Corporation of India, Tata Power, Indiabulls Housing Finance, ACC, FSN E-Commerce Ventures (Nykaa), SAIL, Aurobindo Pharma, Berger Paints.

Among others, Abbott India, Aries Agro, BASF India, Bosch, Bharat Bijlee, DCB Bank, Engineers India, Entertainment Network (India), Finolex Cables, GMR Infrastructure, HEG, Jindal Stainless (Hisar), Lumax Auto Technologies, Nuvoco Vistas Corporation, Paras Defence and Space Technologies, Patel Engineering, Petronet LNG, Procter & Gamble Health, Hitachi Energy India, Prestige Estates Projects, Pricol, Solara Active Pharma Sciences, Spencers Retail, Sundaram-Clayton, Talbros Automotive Components, TTK Healthcare, Welspun Specialty Solutions, and 3i Infotech will also release their earnings report on February 9.

FIIs remain net seller, DIIs turn net buyers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net sellers in the Indian equity market on February 8, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) emerged as net buyers. As per the data available on the NSE, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹1,967.9 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net purchased shares worth ₹1,115 crore in domestic equity market.

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