Indian benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are poised to fall in opening trade on Wednesday, tracking weak cues from global peers. Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were reeling under selling pressure, following tech sell-off on Wall Street overnight amid renewed fear about aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes. The negative trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-down opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 212 points, or 1.23%, lower at 16,984 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:05 AM.

The domestic bourses closed higher on Tuesday, snapping two sessions losing streak, amid bargain hunting in energy, auto and consumption stocks. The market sentiment was also lifted by strong buying interest from domestic investors and firm global cues. The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 777 points, or 1.37%, to settle at 57,357, while the broader NSE Nifty climbed 247 points, or 1.46%, to 17,201. The top gainers on the Sensex pack were PowerGrid, Titan, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro, SBI, Bharti Airtel and HUL. On the sectoral front, all BSE indices ended in green, led by power, realty, utilities, with each gaining more than 3%.

Stocks to focus:

Reliance Industries: Mukesh Ambani-led company has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC (TA’ZIZ) for a $2 billion chemical joint venture in the UAE. RIL has partnered with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, in TA’ZIZ EDC & PVC, a world-scale chemicals development at the TA’ZIZ industrial chemicals zone in Ruwais, UAE.

Eureka Forbes: Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry and six other directors have resigned from the board of Eureka Forbes as the new owner Lunolux Ltd took control of the vacuum cleaner and water purifier maker.

Wipro: The Bengaluru-headquartered IT major on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Rizing Intermediate Holdings, a global SAP consulting firm, for $540 million (around ₹4,060 crore).

Bajaj Finance: The Bajaj group firm has registered 80% growth in net profit at ₹2,420 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2022 from ₹1,347 crore a Q4FY21. The board of directors has recommended a dividend of ₹20 per share (1,000%) of face value of ₹2 each on equity shares for the financial year 2021-22.

Nippon Life India Asset Management (NAM): The company has posted profit after tax (PAT) of ₹175 crore in Q4 FY22, as against ₹167 crore during the same period last year, registering a growth of 5%.

AU Small Finance Bank: The lender’s net profit jumped 105% YoY to ₹346 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2022 (Q4FY22) on an improvement in interest margins. The board of directors of the company has also recommended a dividend of ₹1 per equity share (10% of face value) on pre-bonus share capital for FY22.

Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC: The Aditya Birla group firm on Tuesday reported a 1% growth in profit after tax at ₹158.5 crore in the three months ended March 2022, as against ₹156.7 crore in the year-ago period. Revenue from operations surged 3% to ₹323.5 crore, from ₹315.3 crore in the three months ended March 2021.

Tata Coffee (TCL): The Tata group firm has posted a 12% growth in its consolidated profit to ₹64.28 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 2022, compared with ₹57.37 crore during the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Revenue from operations jumped 11% to ₹656.26 crore as against ₹591.23 crore in Q4 FY22.

HDFC Life Insurance Company: The life insurer registered a profit after tax of ₹357.52 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, up 12.44% compared to ₹317.94 crore in the year-ago period. Net premium income increased to ₹14,289.66 crore from ₹12,868.01 crore during this period.

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

Tech stocks drag Wall Street lower

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed lower in choppy trade as growth-driven technology stocks slumped amid rate hike concerns. Electric car maker Tesla was the worst performer with a 12.2% loss after CEO Elon Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion. There is speculation in the market that the U.S. Federal Reserve may hike rates by a 0.5 percentage point at each of its next two meetings to contain rising inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2.4% lower, while the S&P 500 shed 2.8%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 4%, registering its lowest level since December 2020.

Asian stocks follow Wall Street lower

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were flashing red in opening trade, following a negative finish at Wall Street overnight. The persistent concerns about coronavirus-led lockdown in China and ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict also dented market sentiments.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 dropped 1.9%, South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1%, and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.5%.

Similarly, the Straits Times Index in Singapore fell 0.2%, Taiwan’s Weighted index plunged 2.5%, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite slipped 0.25%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% and 0.4%, respectively, in early trade.

Oil prices edge higher

The price of Brent and U.S. crude oil rose in early trade on Wednesday after the Chinese government vowed to support its economy battling with Covid-19 lockdowns. In Asian trading hours on Wednesday, the Brent oil for July delivery climbed 0.85% to $105.5 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.76% to $102.47 a barrel.

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices remained steady for the twenty one day on Wednesday, after several hikes in more than one month. The domestic oil companies have raised fuel rates by ₹10 per litre since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22, when the results of five Assembly polls were announced.

FIIs remain net sellers, DIIs net buyers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the Indian equity market on April 26, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to support the market. As per the exchange data, FIIs sold shares worth ₹1,174.05 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹1,643.84 crore.

Corporate earnings

The major companies that are slated to release their earnings numbers today include Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Asset Management Company, Indian Hotels Company. Among others, Persistent Systems, Syngene International, Trent, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Hatsun Agro Product, Indian Energy Exchange, 5paisa Capital, Chennai Petroleum Corporation, KPR Mill, MPL Plastics, Shree Digvijay Cement, Supreme Petrochem, and Swaraj Engines will also unveil their March quarter results on April 27.

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