Indian equity benchmarks are expected to open on a positive note on Wednesday, tracking solid cues from Asian peers which were boosted by strong finish at Wall Street overnight. The bullish trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 74 points, or 0.4%, higher at 17,446 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:15 AM.

On Tuesday, the domestic benchmark indices ended with solid gains amid surge in buying activities in the final hour of day’s trade, following strong cues from European markets. The gain in index heavyweights such as Reliance Industries and other energy companies along with IT stocks also supported the market. The 30-share index Sensex rebounded 1,059 points to close at 57,989, up 697 points or 1.22%. In a similar trend, the 50-share Nifty closed at 17,315.5, up 198 points or 1.16 %, after hitting a high and low of 17,334 and 17,006, respectively. Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finserv, ITC, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Kotak Mahindra Bank, Infosys and Power Grid Corporation, were among top gainers. On the sectoral front, oil and gas and IT indices gained the most, while realty and FMCG were among the biggest losers.

Stocks to focus

SBI Cards & Payment Services: The board of the credit card company has declared an interim dividend of ₹2.50 per equity share for the financial year 2021-22.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS): The IT major’s ₹18,000 crore share buyback programme was subscribed 5.5 times on Tuesday, a day before close.

Tata Coffee: The board of the coffee company has approved the re-appointment of Chacko Purackal Thomas as managing director and chief executive officer for a term of three years starting from April 1.

Tata Motors: The auto major has announced that it will hike prices of its commercial vehicle in the range of 2-2.5% from April to offset the steep rise in commodity prices and other input costs.

Axis Bank: The board of the bank has granted 1.75 crore stock options at an exercise price of ₹725.90 per equity share under the employee stock option scheme.

HCL Technologies: The IT major has signed a collaboration agreement with NEORIS, a U.S.-based global digital accelerator that co-creates disruptive solutions for digitally aspirational companies.

Future Enterprises: The Future group company has again defaulted on the payment of interest due on non-convertible debentures (NCDs).

Adani Power: Billionaire Gautam Adani-led company has signed a pact with IHI Corporation and Kowa Company (Kowa) for sustainable power generation.

State Bank of India: The PSU lender has acquired a 7.84% stake in ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) for consideration of ₹10 crore.

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

Wall Street rise on hawkish Fed comment

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed higher as investors digested the prospect of multiple interest rate hikes this year following hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday indicated a more aggressive tightening of monetary policy to counter rising inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.74%, the S&P 500 added 1.13%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended 1.95% higher.

Japan leads Asian rally

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region opened higher today, following strong cues from Wall Street and improvement in the Covid-19 situations in China and Japan. Regional heavyweights Japan topped the gainers’ chart after the government fully lifted the pandemic-related emergency measures.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 rallied 2.7%, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 1.3%, and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.8%.

In a similar trend, the Straits Times Index in Singapore added 0.4% and Australia’s ASX 200 index rose 0.3% and Taiwan’s Weighted index traded 0.9% higher.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.56% and 0.2%, respectively.

Petrol, diesel prices hiked for second day

Petrol and diesel prices were hiked by another 80 paise a litre for the second consecutive day on Wednesday in wake of the continued rise in the international crude oil market. On Tuesday, oil marketing companies had raised fuel prices by 80 paise after a gap of four months.

In the overnight trade, global benchmark Brent crude retreated amid reports that the European Union is less likely to ban Russian oil. Brent crude settled 0.2% lower at $115.48 a barrel, and the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended 0.3% lower at $111.76 per barrel.

In the Asian trading hours on Wednesday, the U.S. WTI crude futures climbed 1.5% to $110.4 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures rose 1.12% to $116.7 per barrel.

FIIs turn net buyer, DIIs net seller

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net buyers in the Indian equity market on March 22, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) emerged as net sellers. As per the exchange data, FIIs net purchased shares worth ₹384.5 crore, while DIIs net sold shares worth ₹602 crore.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.