Indian equity benchmarks are likely to see gap-down opening on Thursday as the lingering Ukraine crisis continued to weigh on global equities. The market may also see volatility ahead of the monthly F&O expiry due today. The negative trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a bearish opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 358 points, or 2.1%, lower at 16,705 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:30 AM.

On Wednesday, the Indian equity benchmarks extended their losing streak to the sixth session as the lingering Ukraine crisis continued to weigh on investor sentiment. The BSE Sensex closed 68.62 points, or 0.12%, lower at 57,232, and the Nifty ended 28.95 points, or 0.12%, down at 17,063. NTPC, L&T, Nestle and ICICI Bank were among worst performers. Sectorally, BSE power, capital goods and oil&gas fell as much as 0.54%. Of the 19 sectoral indices, five closed in the red.

Stocks to watch

Vodafone Idea: Vodafone Group is reportedly planning to sell 2.5% stake in Indus Towers via a block deal on Thursday.

KSB, Linde India: KSB, Vesuvius India, Linde India, and Money Masters Leasing & Finance are slated to release their earnings for quarter ended on December 31, 2021.

Vedanta: The board of mining company will meet on March 2 to consider and approve third interim dividend on equity shares, if any, for the financial year 2021-22.

Indian Hotels: Tata Sons, the promoter of the company, reportedly plans to sell up to 8% in the hotel major. The company is looking to raise around ₹2,000 crore via qualified institutional placement (QIP) in the next two weeks.

Sanofi India: The net profit of the company dropped 18.5% YoY to ₹132.20 crore, while total income fell 4.3% to ₹704.20 crore from ₹736.50 crore in the year ago period.

Maruti Suzuki India: The country’s largest carmaker on Wednesday launched the new version of its premium hatchback Baleno.

Stocks under F&O ban: Three stocks – Indiabulls Housing Finance, Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Voda Idea– will be under the F&O ban today. The ban is imposed on companies in which the security breaches 95% of the market-wide position limit.

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

Wall Street extends fall on Ukraine concerns

In the overnight trade, all three major indices closed lower on Wall Street as Ukraine declared a state of emergency amid fear of invasion by Russia. The concerns about possible aggressive policy stance by the Federal Reserve to tame inflation also kept investors on edge. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was the worst performer with a 2.57% loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4% and the S&P 500 lost 1.8%.

Asian markets follow Wall Street lower

Asian markets slipped on Thursday, mirroring weakness in Wall Street overnight amid renewed U.S. warnings of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. The concerns about Ukraine crisis has created uncertainty among investors who are already rattled by the U.S. Federal Reserve rates outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.1% in early deals, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.8%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore plummeted 1.6%.

Australia’s ASX 200 index was the worst performer in the region by falling 2.5%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong nosedived 1.5%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen component and the Shanghai composite shed 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.

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