AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon (AP)
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon (AP)

Indian stock markets seen subdued; Reliance Industries, SBI to be in focus

  • Asian equities were weak after Apple Inc said quarterly sales will miss forecast
  • US crude fell 0.4% to $51.86 a barrel, gold rose 0.3% to $1,586 an ounce

Mumbai: Indian stock markets may be weak on Tuesday tracking global cues. Asian stocks fell in line with US futures and bond yields after Apple Inc. said the company's quarterly sales would miss forecasts, illustrating the blow to corporate earnings and economic growth from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Equities in Tokyo and Seoul led Asian benchmarks lower. Sydney and Shanghai saw modest declines. Apple suppliers including TDK Corp. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. slumped after the iPhone maker warned on both production and sales disruptions due to the epidemic.

Taiwan's Topix index fell 0.9%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.2%, Korea's Kospi index eased 1.1%, China's Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.9%.

Ten-year Treasury yields fell as trading resumed following a US holiday on Monday. Australia’s dollar dropped after the country's central bank said it had discussed cutting interest rates two weeks ago.

Tuesday’s trading session saw renewed concerns over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, even as growth rate of cases in China’s Hubei province -- the epicenter of the disease -- continues to stabilize. It’s a turnaround from Monday, when sentiment was buoyed by Chinese policy makers’ moves to support companies hit by the prolonged shutdown of large parts of the country. China’s stocks recouped all of their losses following the Lunar New Year holiday.

In a statement late Monday, Apple said while work is starting to resume in China, “we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated." Global iPhone supply will be “temporarily constrained," the company said.

The Australian dollar weakened after the Reserve Bank of Australia said it reviewed the case for a further rate cut at its last meeting, but didn’t go ahead to avoid extra borrowing as house prices rise.

Elsewhere, West Texas crude traded below $52 a barrel. The pound held a decline after UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s envoy attacked the European Union’s stance ahead of trade talks.

Back home, shares of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will be in focus after it announced a consolidation of its media and distribution businesses spread across multiple entities into Network18.

Under the scheme of arrangement, TV18 Broadcast, Hathway Cable & Datacom and Den Networks will merge into Network18 Media & Investments. The appointed date for the merger will be February 1, 2020, the company said.

The markets regulator on Monday barred investment advisers from simultaneously selling financial products and advisory services, and capped the fees they can charge their clients, in an attempt to curb mis-selling and protect investors.

SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd, backed by State Bank of India and private equity firm Carlyle Group, is targeting an early-March launch for its 9,000-crore initial public offering (IPO), according to a Mint report.

Among currencies, the Japanese yen was little changed at 109.78 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.9895 per dollar. The pound was at $1.2996 after retreating 0.3% Monday.

The euro was little changed at $1.0826.

The Aussie fell 0.4% to 66.89 U.S. cents.

In the bond markets, ten-year Treasury yields fell about three basis points, to 1.56%. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was little changed at 1.05%.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $51.86 a barrel. Gold rose 0.3% to $1,586 an ounce.

(Bloomberg contributed to the story)

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