Indian equity benchmarks, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are set to start the day on a bearish note, following mixed cues from Asian peers as investors weighed the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank would raise rates until inflation comes down. The negative trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-down opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 34 points, or 0.2%, lower at 16,234 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:25 AM. Investors will also keep an eye on corporate earnings as some major companies such as ITC, Brookfield India Real Estate Trust REIT, GMR Power, Indraprastha Gas, InterGlobe Aviation, Indian Overseas Bank, LIC Housing Finance, Lupin, will release their March quarter earnings.

On Tuesday, the domestic bourses rallied over 2.5% to register their biggest single-day gains in three months, driven by strong buying in metal, energy and banking stocks. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 1,344 points, or 2.54%, higher at 54,318 levels with all of its constituents closing in green zone. The broader NSE Nifty also rallied 417 points, or 2.63%, to settle at 16,259 points. Index heavyweights Reliance Industries, Infosys, ITC, Larsen & Toubro, Wipro, ICICI Bank, HCL Technologies, Bajaj Finance, SBI and Maruti were among best performers. All BSE sectoral indices also ended higher, led by metal, basic materials, energy, oil and gas, telecom, and industrials.

Shares to focus

Bharti Airtel: The country’s second-biggest telecom operator has recorded a consolidated net income of ₹2,008 crore for the January-March quarter, posting a growth of 164.46% compared to ₹759.2 crore profit in the same quarter last year. A major rise in net profit could be seen due to the net exceptional gain of ₹906 crore during the quarter ended March 31, 2022.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services: The company has announced buyback of its 14.55 lakh equity shares at ₹1,100 apiece for a total amount not exceeding ₹160 crore. The buyback represents 0.98% of the total paid-up equity share capital of the company as on March 31, 2022.

Dr Lal Pathlabs: The country’s largest diagnostic chain has reported a 27% fall in consolidated net profit to ₹62.1 crore in Q4FY22, as against ₹85 crore in the same period last year. Its revenue from operations rose 12.7% YoY to ₹485.5 crore.

DLF: The real estate company saw its consolidated net profit declining by 16% to ₹405.33 crore for the quarter ended in March 2022, as against ₹480.94 crore in the year-ago period. Total income fell to ₹1,652.13 crore during the fourth quarter of the last fiscal from ₹1,906.59 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Indiabulls Housing Finance: Global rating agency Moody's has upgraded the company’s outlook rating to “stable” from “negative”, citing a stabilisation in access to funding. It also affirmed the B3 rating of Indiabulls corporate family rating and foreign-currency senior secured ratings.

Maruti Suzuki India: The country's largest carmaker has received its shareholders approval for the appointment of Hisashi Takeuchi as Managing Director and CEO. As many as 99.89% shareholders voted through a postal ballot in favour of the appointment of Takeuchi as MD and CEO.

Bajaj Electricals: The consumer goods company has reported a 28.73% fall in consolidated net profit at ₹38.67 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2022, versus ₹54.26 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year. The total revenue from operations rose marginally by 6% YoY to ₹1,334.32 crore during the quarter under review.

One97 Communications (Paytm): The parent company of Paytm E-commerce, Jack Ma-led Alibaba and Ant Financials, have reportedly exited the firm. As per report, Paytm E-commerce has acquired the entire stake of Alibaba (28.34%) and Antfin (Netherlands) Holding (14.98%) for a total consideration of ₹42 crore.

RBL Bank: The private lender has raised $100 million (about ₹770 crore) through its first issuance of Basel III-compliant unsecured and subordinated tier 2 bonds. The bond issuance increases the bank's total Capital Adequacy Ratio to 17.85%.

Jet Airways: The private carrier has successfully operated all proving flights and is now looking forward to the grant of air operator certificate (AOC) by aviation regulator DGCA, its owner Jalan-Kalrock Consortium said on Tuesday. The airline conducted the second -- and the last -- set of two proving flights on Tuesday with 31 people, including officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on board.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC): The country’s largest oil company on Tuesday reported a 31.4% decline in the fourth quarter net profit to ₹6,021.88 crore, compared with ₹8,781.30 crore in the same period last year.

F&O ban: Shares of GNFC, Indiabulls Housing Finance, and Punjab National Bank will be under F&O ban today as their securities have crossed 95% of the market-wide position limit.

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

Wall Street ends sharply higher

In the overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices ended with solid gains, led by index heavyweights such as Apple and Tesla as robust retail sales in April eased concerns about slowing economic growth. Investors also cheered industrial production data which rose higher-than-expected 1.1% last month. Investors rushed to buy beaten-down stocks as the market corrected sharply in recent weeks. The S&P 500 rallied 2.02%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.34%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended 2.76% higher.

Asian stocks mixed

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were trading mixed in opening deals on Wednesday, as markets in China and Hong Kong fall undermining strong finish on Wall Street overnight. Investors weighed the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank would raise rates until inflation comes down.

Regional heavyweight Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7%, South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.15%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore climbed 0.5%. Similarly, Australia’s ASX 200 and Taiwan’s Weighted index soared 1% each, while Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite jumped 1.4%.

Bucking the trend, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropped 0.7%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5% each in early trade.

Crude oil prices up 1%

The price of Brent and U.S. crude rose in early trade on Wednesday after falling over 1% in overnight trade amid reports that the U.S. could ease some bans on Venezuela's government, which may lead to additional supplies. However, looming fear of a ban on Russian oil imports by the European Union and hopes of demand recovery in China pushed oil prices higher.

In Asian trading hours, the Brent oil for July delivery was up 0.68% at $112.69 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude June futures rose 1.14% to $110.88 a barrel.

FIIs remain net sellers, DIIs net buyers

The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to remain net sellers in the Indian equity market on May 17, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to support the market. As per the exchange data, FIIs net sold shares worth ₹2,192.44 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹2,294.42 crore.

Corporate earnings

The major companies that are slated to release their earnings numbers today include ITC, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Arvind, Barbeque Nation Hospitality, Brookfield India Real Estate Trust REIT, Finolex Industries, GIC Housing Finance, GMR Power and Urban Infra, GTL, Indraprastha Gas, InterGlobe Aviation, Indian Overseas Bank, JK Lakshmi Cement, LIC Housing Finance, Lupin, Manappuram Finance, NDTV, Pidilite Industries, Route Mobile, Shyam Metalics, Shriram Asset Management, and Westlife Developments.

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