Domestic benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are set to open higher on Wednesday, bolstered by a broad rally in Wall Street overnight and a slump in commodity prices, especially crude oil. The bullish trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-up opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 88 points, or 0.52%, higher at 17,018 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:10 AM.

On Tuesday, the Indian share market ended lower for the fifth straight session on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in index heavyweights such as Infosys and HDFC twins. The concerns about rising inflation and continued foreign fund outflows in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine crisis also dented investor sentiments. The BSE Sensex ended 703 points, or 1.23%, lower at 56,463 in highly volatile trade, while the NSE Nifty dropped 215 points, or 1.25%, to settle at 16,959. In the BSE Sensex pack, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Infosys, ITC, Tech Mahindra, and HCL Technologies were among the top losers. In contrast, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, and Bajaj Finance were among the best performers.

Stocks to focus

Reliance Industries: Reliance Brands has signed an agreement to acquire 51% majority stake in couturiers Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla (AJSK). The Reliance group company operates 1,596 doors split into 680 stores and 916 shop-in-shops in India.

Fortis Healthcare: Markets regulator SEBI has imposed penalties of ₹24 crore on nine entities, including businessmen Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, in connection with violations in the Fortis Healthcare matter. The regulator has slapped a fine of ₹5 crore each on the two Singh brothers, ₹2.5 crore on RHC Holding, ₹1 crore on Fortis Healthcare, and ₹50 lakh on Fortis Hospitals.

L&T Infotech: Larsen & Toubro (L&T) group company has posted 16.8% year-on-year growth in net profit at ₹637.5 crore for the fourth quarter of FY22. For Q4FY22 revenue grew by 31.6% YoY at ₹4,301.6 crore.

ACC: The cement maker has posted 29.5% drop in consolidated net profit to ₹396.33 crore for the first quarter ended March 2022, impacted by rise in raw material costs, especially crude oil. The total revenue rose 3.13% to ₹4,426.54 crore against ₹4,291.97 crore in the year-ago period.

Punjab & Sind Bank: The PSU lender has declared outstanding dues of SREI companies as fraud. The bank in an exchange filing said the NPA accounts, SREI Infrastructure Finance (SIFL) with outstanding dues of ₹510.16 crore, and SREI Equipment Finance Limited (SEFL) with outstanding dues of ₹724.18 crore have been declared as fraud.

HDFC: The housing finance company has offloaded 1% stake in real estate company Ansal Housing & Construction Ltd through an open market transaction. The mortgage lender sold a total of 5,74,726 shares, amounting to a 0.96% stake of Ansal Housing Ltd.

Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL): The cash-strapped Future group company has defaulted on a payment of ₹29.33 crore as interest on non-convertible debentures (NCDs).

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

U.S. stocks rise on earnings optimism

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed higher as investors cheered robust corporate earnings numbers, while dovish comments by U.S. Federal Reserve officials on interest rate also boosted market sentiments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.45%, the S&P 500 added 1.61% and the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.15%.

Asian stocks mixed on China growth concerns

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region traded mixed in opening trade on Wednesday as investors remained concerned about China's economic growth, while looming fear of aggressive Federal Reserve monetary policy tightening also dented sentiments. China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by annualised rate of 4.8% in the first quarter, while March’s macro data showed a drop in consumption, property and exports affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 gained 0.6%, the Straits Times Index in Singapore surged 0.8%, and Australia’s ASX 200 index rose 0.3%.

Meanwhile, Hang Seng, the benchmark index of Hong Kong, fell 0.2% and South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.3%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, as investors remained concerned about Covid-19 situation in the country.

Oil prices slide 5% on demand concerns

The price of Brent and U.S. crude oil slumped around 5% in overnight trade on Tuesday on concerns about the bleak energy demand outlook after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered global economic growth forecasts.

During the early trading hours on Wednesday, the Brent oil for June delivery was up 0.81% to $108.12 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.9% to $102.97 a barrel.

Meanwhile, domestic oil marketing companies have kept petrol and diesel prices unchanged for the fourteenth consecutive day on Wednesday, after several hikes in the last 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 19, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to support the market. As per the exchange data, FIIs offloaded shares worth ₹5,871.7 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹3,980.8 crore.

Corporate earnings

Tata Elxsi, ICICI Securities, Reliance Industrial Infrastructure, Angel One, Glenmark Life Sciences, JTL Infra, Ellora Trading, HCKK Ventures, Indbank Merchant Banking Services, and Ind Bank Housing will unveil their quarterly results today.

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