Indian equity benchmarks are poised to start on a positive note on Tuesday, tracking strong cues from Asian peers and a strong finish on Wall Street overnight. The firm trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a solid opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 115 points, or 0.67%, higher at 17,340 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 7:50 AM.

On Monday, the domestic benchmarks ended higher in choppy trade, led by a spurt in buying in the final hours of trading. The 30-share index settled at 57,593, up 231 points or 0.4%, and the NSE Nifty closed at 17,222, up 69 points or 0.4%. Bucking the trend, the broader markets ended lower, with the BSE midcap and smallcap indices falling 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively. Bharti Airtel was the best performer on the BSE Sensex pack, followed by Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, ITC, State Bank of India, Reliance Industries, and Power Grid. Among sectors, oil and gas and bank indices were the biggest gainers, while consumer durables and healthcare space declined the most.

Stocks to watch

HCL Tech: The IT major has been selected to provide global service desk and on-site support to global healthcare company Novo Nordisk.

Tata Steel: The board of the country’s largest steel maker on Monday approved the appointment of Noel Naval Tata as an additional director and designated him as vice-chairman effective March 28, 2022. Noel Tata is also the chairman of Tata International, Voltas, Tata Investment Corporation, and the vice-chairman of Titan Company.

Ruchi Soya: Market regulator SEBI has directed the edible oil maker to allow the investors who participated in its ₹4,300 crore follow-on public offering (FPO) to withdraw their application. The order came in the backdrop of “circulation of unsolicited SMSes advertising the issue”.

Tata Power: The company has teamed up with real estate developer Rustomjee Group to set up electric vehicle charging infrastructure at the commercial and residential projects of the latter across Mumbai metropolitan region.

Adani Group: Billionaire Gautam Adani-led business conglomerate has collaborated with Google Cloud to modernise its IT operations to power the next phase of innovation across India's fastest-growing diversified business portfolio.

Wipro: Fitch Ratings has affirmed long-term foreign- and local-currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'A-' for IT major Wipro with a stable outlook, citing its strong market position.

Kalyan Jewellers: The company on Monday appointed former CAG Vinod Rai as its Chairman and independent non-executive director, subject to regulatory and shareholders' approvals.

Sudarshan Chemical Industries: The company has received its board approval to raise up to ₹200 crore through issue of Non-Convertible Debentures (NCD) on private placement basis in one or more tranches.

Aurobindo Pharma: The homegrown drug maker has acquired the domestic formulation business of Hyderabad-based Veritaz Healthcare for ₹171 crore. Veritaz is promoted by Aurobindo promoter group.

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

Wall Street extends rally

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed higher, driven by a strong rally in Tesla shares, which offset weakness in energy and bank stocks. The hopes of a positive outcome of first face-to-face peace talks between Russia and Ukraine this week also boosted market sentiments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.3% higher, the S&P 500 rose 0.7%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.3%.

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region traded mostly higher in opening trade, following a positive finish on Wall Street overnight. However, uncertainty about global economic growth amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and lockdown in Shanghai, China’s largest city and financial center, to conduct spread of Covid-19, restricted the market’s gain.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the best performer in the regional market with a 0.8% gain, followed by Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225, which rose 0.6% in opening deals.

South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.25%, Taiwan's Weighted index climbed 0.2%, and Australia’s ASX 200 index gained 0.7%. The Straits Times Index in Singapore rose 0.2%, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite was trading flat with a positive bias.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component was flat, while the Shanghai Composite tumbled 0.2% in opening trade amid the coronavirus concerns.

Crude prices dive up to 7%

The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell sharply in overnight trade amid a drop in demand following fresh lockdowns in China amid rising Covid-19 cases. The public transport, companies, factories all have closed in Shanghai, the financial hub of China, to contain the spread of the virus.

In the overnight trade, Brent futures and the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped up to 7% after a JPMorgan report projected that the oil demand in China will drop by 5,20,000 barrels per day in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, in the early trading hours on Tuesday, the U.S. WTI crude futures dipped 0.75% to $105.17 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures slipped 0.75% to $108.68 per barrel.

Despite the ease in crude prices in the international market, the oil marketing companies on Tuesday hiked petrol prices by 80 paise a litre and diesel by 70 paise, taking the total increase in rates to ₹4.80 per litre in one week.

FIIs remain net sellers, DIIs net buyers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to remain net sellers in the Indian equity market on March 28, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) extended support to the domestic market. As per the exchange data, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹801.4 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹1,161.70 crore.

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