Indian stock market on Thursday is expected to be volatile. SGX Nifty, which indicates the movement for Indian equities, suggests a negative opening. IT giant Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) will be in focus today as it will announce financial results for the March quarter and financial year 2020.
Most Asian shares fell in early deals today, while bonds and the US dollar held on to hefty gains, after a covid-19-driven plunge in US retail sales and factory production. Rising gloomy economic outlooks for Asia added to the negative sentiment.
US retail sales dropped the most on record last month, while manufacturing output fell the most in 74 years, raising fears of deep recession.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6%. In Japan, where a Reuters survey showed most firms feel stimulus measures announced so far are insufficient, the Nikkei fell 1.3%.
Benchmark indexes in Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai also posted falls between 0.3% and 1.5%. China is expected to report on Friday that the health crisis likely knocked its economy into its first decline on record.
Back home, starting 20 April, India will allow key parts of the economy, including agriculture, logistics, infrastructure, e-commerce and factories (located outside the municipal corporations and municipalities’ limit), to return to work in areas where no infections have been reported, the government said on Wednesday.
IT services provider, Wipro, has reported a 5.3% sequential fall in its consolidated profit for the fourth quarter at ₹2,326.1 crore.
However, the company's IT services revenue was up 1.3% at ₹15,296 crore against ₹15,100.6 crore, Q-o-Q. It has not provided revenue guidance for the April-June quarter on account of uncertainty over covid-19.
Oil prices, a barometer of global growth, crept from overnight lows but remained weak as poor demand outweighs support from a record output cut agreed last weekend.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 60 cents a barrel or 3% from its lowest close since 2002 to $20.46, and Brent crude climbed 80 cents to $28.50 a barrel.
Markets are bracing for more bad news when US weekly jobless claims, which have been in millions for the past three weeks .
The US dollar rose against most major currencies and the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasuries held at 0.6348%, near the week-low hit on Wednesday.
The dollar last bought 107.78 yen and hit a week-high $0.6282 per Australian dollar.
It advanced furthest against the kiwi, rising about 0.7% to $0.5955 after New Zealand's central bank governor said negative rates are a possibility.
(Reuters contributed to the story.)