Indian benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are expected to open lower on Monday, following subdued cues from global peers as the coronavirus pandemic and corporate earnings remained in focus for investors. The bearish trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a negative opening for the Indian equities, with SGX Nifty futures trading 67 points, or 0.37%, lower at 18,207 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:00 AM.

On Friday, Indian benchmark indices closed marginally lower in choppy trade as sell-off in auto, pharma, bank, FMCG indices offset buying in IT, capital goods, and realty sectors. Snapping five sessions' gaining streak, the BSE Sensex closed 12 points, or 0.02%, lower at 61,223, while the NSE Nifty slipped 2 points, or 0.01%, to settle at 18,255. On the sectoral front, capital goods and realty indices were among the top performers whereas FMCG and pharma sectors declined the most. The BSE FMCG index emerged as the top loser by falling 0.6%, led by Goodricke Group, Future Consumer, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Godfrey Phillips India, and Nestle India. The top gainer on the BSE Sensex pack was Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which ended 1.84% higher. Some of the other top performers include Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, and HDFC Bank.

Stocks to focus

HDFC Bank: The country’s largest private sector lender by assets, has reported robust earnings for the December quarter, driven by higher income and a drop in provisions for bad loans. The bank has posted 18.08% year-on-year (YoY) growth in its net profit at ₹10,342 crore for the second quarter ended December 31, 2021. The Mumbai-headquartered bank’s net interest income rose 13% to ₹18,443 crore, while non-interest income grew 10% to ₹8,184 crore.

HCL Technologies: The IT major reported a 13.6% YoY drop in net profit at ₹3,442 crore for the December quarter of 2021. Revenue for the quarter grew 15.7% YoY to ₹22,331 crore. In a separate development, the IT company has inked a pact for the acquisition of Hungary-based data engineering services provider Starschema in a $42.5 million deal.

Metro Brands: Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed newly listed company reported a 62.5% YoY growth in net profit at ₹100.15 crore for the third quarter ended December 2021. Total income also surged 57.2% from ₹310.42 crore to ₹487.98 crore in the same period.

JSW Group: The group plans to raise ₹2,200 crore via bank loans to establish power plants in Tamil Nadu. The wholly-owned subsidiary, JSW Renew Energy Two (JRETL), has proposed to set up wind power plants in Tamil Nadu.

Maruti Suzuki India: The country's largest carmaker has hiked prices of its models by up to 4.3% with immediate effect, owing to an increase in various input costs.

Indian Oil Corporation: The state-owned oil company has proposed to invest over ₹7,000 crore in setting up city gas distribution networks in the cities for which it has bagged a licence in the latest bidding round.

Hero MotoCorp: The country's largest two-wheeler maker has received approval from its board to further invest up to ₹420 crore in electric two-wheeler company Ather Energy. The investment will be made in one or more tranches.

Lupin: The pharma company’s US-based unit is recalling 50,832 bottles of Gatifloxacin Ophthalmic Solution, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes. The drug has failed the stability specifications requirement of the U.S. FDA.

Sun Pharma: The drugmaker is recalling 696 bottles of Pregabalin capsules (50 mg), used for the treatment of epilepsy, anxiety, and nerve pain, in the US market.

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

Wall Street ends mixed as disappointing earnings

On Wall Street, the major U.S. indices closed mixed on Friday as investors reacted to data and earnings misses. The looming fear about the potential interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in the next few months also weighed on investor sentiments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 0.56% lower, weighed down by financial stocks as investors were disappointed by fourth-quarter results from major banks such as JPMorgan and Citigroup. However, the S&P 500 ended 0.08% higher, and the NASDAQ Composite added 0.59%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. stock markets will remain closed on Monday in honour of Martin Luther King Jr.

Asian shares start on cautious note

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region started on a tepid note on Monday weighed down by mixed global cues and economic uncertainty caused by the fast spread of the Omicron variant across the Asian countries. The persistent fears that the Federal Reserve would soon raise interest rates also dented investor sentiment.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index traded 0.6% higher, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore rose 0.2%. Taiwan Weighted Index and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite also traded higher by 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. Australia’s ASX 200 index also edged higher.

In mainland China, Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component rose 0.2% and 0.9%, respectively, after data showed that China’s economy grew 4% in the December quarter from a year earlier. The data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday highlighted that Gross domestic product (GDP) grew faster than expected at 8.1% in 2021. Investors also awaited retail sales and industrial output to have more clarity on China’s economic health.

Bucking the trend, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 0.56%, while South Korea’s KOSPI nosedived 1.1%. Thailand’s SET Composite also traded lower by 0.44%.

Corporate earnings

Companies that will announce their December quarter results today include UltraTech Cement, HFCL, Sonata Software, and Tata Steel Long Products.

Among others, Advik Capital, Angel One, Arfin India, Artson Engineering, Bhansali Engineering Polymers, Fineotex Chemical, Goodluck India, Hathway Cable & Datacom, KIC Metaliks, KP Energy, KPI Global Infrastructure, Tatva Chintan Pharma Chem, Maharashtra Scooters, Moschip Technologies, Poddar Pigments, Tiger Logistics (India), and Vikas EcoTech will also release their earnings report on January 14.

FIIs turn net sellers, DIIs remain net buyers

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net sellers in the Indian equity market on January 14, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to remain net buyers. As per the data available on the NSE, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹1,598.20 crore, while DIIs net bought shares worth ₹371.41 crore.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) invested net ₹3,117 crore in Indian markets, so far this month. As per the data, FPIs injected ₹1,857 crore into equities and ₹1,743 crore into hybrid instruments during January 1-14. At the same time, they pulled out ₹482 crore from the debt segment, taking the total net inflow to ₹3,117 crore.

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