Indian equity benchmarks are poised to open lower on Tuesday, following soft cues from Asian peers and weak closing at Wall Street overnight. The continued rally in commodity prices amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war renewed fears about rising inflation which could lead to tightening of liquidity. The negative trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a gap-down opening for the domestic bourses, with SGX Nifty futures trading 76 points, or 0.48%, lower at 15,767 on the Singapore Stock Exchange at 8:05 AM.

On Monday, the domestic benchmarks declined more than 3% to hit a 7-months low as a strong surge in commodity prices, especially oil hitting a 14-year high of $130 a barrel, raised inflation concerns. Paring some of the early losses, the BSE Sensex ended 1,491 points or 2.74% lower at 52,843, while the Nifty50 slipped below 16,000-mark and closed at 15,863, down 382 points or 2.35%. All sectoral indices closed in the red, barring telecom, oil & gas, and metal, while realty and banking space declined the most. Among individual stocks, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, M&M, UltraTech Cement, and ICICI Bank were the top losers in the BSE Sensex.

Stocks to focus

Tata Motors: The auto major has secured a contract for supplying 65 electric vehicles (EVs) to Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). The order includes 60 Tigor EVs and 5 Nexon EV SUVs, which is part of a competitive pan India tender floated by KSEB in line with the state's vision 'Go Green/Carbon Neutral' by 2030, the company said in a release.

Larsen & Toubro: The engineering and construction major on Monday announced the launch of L&T-SuFin, an integrated e-commerce platform for B2B industrial products and services.

Dish TV: Market regulator SEBI has asked the broadcast satellite service provider to disclose the results of its shareholders meeting held in December last year within 24 hours.

Ashok Leyland: The Hinduja Group flagship company has set up four dealerships in Karnataka to expand presence in the region. The heavy commercial vehicle maker has set up dealerships each in Bidadi, TumKur, Kolar and Hoskote.

Great Eastern Shipping Company: The country’s largest private-sector shipping company said that its subsidiary, Greatship (India) Limited (GIL), has contracted to sell its 2010 built R-class Platform Supply Vessel "Greatship Rohini" for scrapping.

Natco Pharma: The drugmaker has launched its first generic version of Revlimid (Lenalidomide capsules), in the U.S. market, used in the treatment of multiple myeloma. These capsules are available in 5mg, 1Omg, 15mg, and 25mg strengths.

Metro Brands: The footwear company has announced an interim dividend of ₹1.50 per equity share on its face value of ₹5 each for FY22. The company has fixed March 19 as the record date for ascertaining the eligibility of shareholders for payment of dividend.

NLC India: The state-run coal mining company has declared an interim dividend of ₹1.50 per equity share for the financial year 2021-22.

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

Wall Street dives as oil prices spike

On Wall Street, all the three major U.S. indices closed sharply lower overnight as reports of a ban on oil imports from Russia pushed crude prices to record high, which reignited concerns about rising inflation. Investors awaited the U.S. consumer prices data due on Thursday, with the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise interest rates later this month to tame inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.37%, the S&P 500 plunged 2.95%, and the Nasdaq Composite ended 3.62% lower.

Asian stocks follow Wall Street lower

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were trading mostly lower in early deals, barring Hong Kong, following negative cues from Wall Street as the war in Ukraine and higher commodity prices weighed on the market. The crude oil prices hit 14-year highs above $130 a barrel which raised fears that higher inflation could result in a global recession.

Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 was down 0.2%, while South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.5%, and the Straits Times Index in Singapore shed 0.3%.

Australia’s ASX 200 index traded 0.25% lower and Taiwan's Weighted index fell 0.7%.

Bucking the trend, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.9%, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite gained 0.55%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen component tumbled 1.3%, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.5% in early deals.

Brent crude prices hover near $125

The oil prices continued their uptrend in early trade on Tuesday amid supply concerns as the U.S. and its European allies mull banning Russian oil exports, which constitutes about 10% of world oil supply. Brent crude futures topped $130 a barrel in overnight trade, the highest since 2008 financial crisis, as reports of sanctions on Russian oil spooked traders' sentiments.

During the early Asian trading hours on Tuesday, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.3% to $119.72 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures rose 0.21% to $124.41 per barrel.

Domestic investors also fear that petrol and diesel prices would be hiked sharply this week as state assembly elections of five states have come to an end. Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged in the country for the last four months despite international crude oil prices crossing $130 a barrel.

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