Domestic benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty, are expected to open on a subdued note on Wednesday, following mixed cues from Asian peers and a negative finish at Wall Street overnight amid concerns about high-interest rates. The muted trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a soft opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 33 points, or 0.19%, higher at 17,598 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:35 AM. Investors will also keep an eye on corporate earnings numbers for future clues, with IT major Infosys set to release its results today.

The domestic equity market extended its losing streak on Tuesday, following weak cues from global peers and weakness in heavyweights such as Wipro, RIL and Bharti Airtel. Investors also remained concerned ahead of the key macroeconomic data, industrial production and inflation numbers. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 388.20 points or 0.66% lower at 58,576, and the NSE Nifty dropped 144.65 points or 0.82% to settle at 17,530. The top laggards on the BSE Sensex pack were Tata Steel, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Bajaj Finserv.

Stocks to focus:

Infosys: The IT major is set to release its fourth-quarter earnings report today. The country’s second-largest software exporter is expected to post a 15-20% growth in the consolidated profit and around 25% rise in consolidated revenue during March quarter of 2022 (Q4 FY22).

Anand Rathi Wealth: The company has posted an over three-fold jump in its profit after tax at ₹35 crore for the quarter ended March 2022, compared to ₹10 crore in the same quarter the preceding fiscal. Revenue rose by 49% to ₹115 crore in the quarter under review compared to ₹77 crore in the year-ago period.

Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL): The debt-laden company has defaulted on payment of ₹9.10 crore interest on non-convertible debentures. The payment was due on April 11.

Nykaa: Falguni Nayar, the chief executive officer and founder of beauty supply company, has been named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2021.

PNB, IDBI Bank: The government has nominated new directors on the boards of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and IDBI Bank, following the cessation of the terms of incumbent directors.

F&O ban: RBL Bank will be under the F&O ban today as shares crossed 95% of the market-wide position limit.

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

U.S. stocks end lower in choppy trade

On Wall Street, all three major U.S. indices closed lower in volatile trade on Tuesday as investors reacted to hawkish comments from Fed Governor Lael Brainard. The official reiterated the need for the U.S. central bank to tighten interest rates to combat decades-high inflation. The market sentiment was also dented by record rise in U.S. inflation, which surged to a fresh four-decade high of 8.5% in March from the same month a year ago. Reversing early gains, the S&P 500 dropped 0.34%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.26%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%.

Asian shares mixed as U.S. inflation soars

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region witnessed mixed trade in the opening session on Wednesday, tracking weak closing at Wall Street overnight. The looming fear about monetary tightening from the U.S. Federal Reserve in the backdrop of a spike in inflation also left investors jittery. The U.S. CPI inflation surged to 8.5% in March, the hottest year-on-year inflation number in more than four decades. The concerns about Covid-19 situation in mainland China and the ongoing geopolitical strife also weighed on market sentiment.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 rose 1.6% in early trade, while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 1.2%. The Straits Times Index in Singapore traded climbed 0.7%, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite advanced 0.2%, Taiwan’s Weighted index rallied 1.4%, and Australia’s ASX 200 index added 0.2%.

Bucking the trend, Hong Kong's benchmark index, the Hang Seng, fell 0.2% and Thailand’s SET Composite slipped 0.25%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component and the Shanghai Composite were down 1% and 0.7%, respectively, amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Oil prices rise on supply concerns

The price of Brent and U.S. crude oil climbed on Wednesday amid concerns about tight supply outlook as peace talk between Russia and Ukraine failed to reach any conclusion. Adding to it, reports of partial easing in lockdown situation in China raised hope of improvement in demand outlook.

During the early Asian trading hours on Wednesday, the Brent oil for June delivery was up 0.52% at $105.18 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 0.38% to $100.98 a barrel.

In the overnight trade, the oil prices soared more than 6% after Russian President Vladimir Putin said peace talks with Ukraine are 'at a dead end', which raised further risk of supply disruptions in the oil market.

Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices were kept unchanged for the seventh day in a row on Tuesday, after several hikes in the last 21 days. 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) continued to remain net sellers in the Indian equity market on March 12, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) emerged as net buyers. As per the exchange data, FIIs sold shares worth ₹3,128.4 crore, while DIIs net purchased shares worth ₹870 crore.

Corporate results

Infosys, Den Networks, and Lesha Industries will unveil their March quarter results today.

Retail inflation hits 17-month high in March

India's retail inflation surged to a 17-month high of 6.95% in March compared to 6.07% in February over higher food prices, the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed. The CPI inflation has again breached the RBI's upper limit. The central bank has set a medium-term CPI inflation target at 4% within a band of +/- 2%.

IIP growth improves in February

India's industrial output, as per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), improved to 1.7% in February from 1.5% in January, as per the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Tuesday.

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