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On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex and Nifty closed flat. Photo: Reuters
On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex and Nifty closed flat. Photo: Reuters

Markets likely to be firm on global cues; Infosys, Wipro, Sail in focus

  • Asian equities made early trading gains on Thursday after a mixed session Wall Street buoyed by expectations of a US stimulus package even as political events in Washington culminated in the impeachment of President Donald Trump

Indian stock markets are expected to be firm on Thursday following global cues. Trends on SGX Nifty suggest a positive opening for domestic benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex closed at 49,492.32, down 24.79 points or 0.05%. The Nifty ended at 14,564.85, up 1.40 points or 0.01%.

Asian equities made early trading gains on Thursday after a mixed session oWall Street buoyed by expectations of a US stimulus package even as political events in Washington culminated in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

US Treasury yields posted their first full-session decline in 2021 after rising for six straight sessions as investors eyed more spending by the incoming U.S. administration.

The benchmark S&P 500 had closed slightly higher driven by rate-sensitive defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate, while economically sensitive cyclical sectors lagged.

Wall Street’s main indexes had hit record highs last week on expectations for a hefty covid-19 relief package, which President-elect Joe Biden is due to unveil on Thursday.

Following the storming of the US Capitol, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach Donald Trump, making him the first US president to be impeached twice.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03%, the S&P 500 gained 0.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.43%.

Several Federal Reserve officials pushed back against the idea of the central bank tapering its asset purchases any time soon despite expectations of higher inflation.

Back home, the country's second-largest IT services firm Infosys on Wednesday reported a 16.6% rise in consolidated net profit at 5,197 crore for the December 2020 quarter. Its revenue grew 12.3%. Infosys has increased its FY21 revenue growth guidance to 4.5-5% in constant currency terms. In October, Infosys had guided towards 2-3% revenue growth in FY21 on constant currency basis.

Wipro posted an about 21% increase in consolidated net profit at 2,968 crore for the December 2020 quarter. Its revenue from operations grew nearly 1.3%. Wipro, which gets a bulk of its topline from IT services, said it expects revenues from that business to be in the range of $2,102 million to $2,143 million in the March 2021 quarter.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to sell 10% of its stake in Steel Authority of India Ltd (Sail) through an offer of sale route to raise 2,600 crore as part of its disinvestment drive.

Oaktree Capital, one of the suitors in the resolution process for debt-ridden DHFL, was put on the spot on Wednesday after Care Ratings said it has not offered any rating but a research-oriented advisory to a proposed debt instrument mentioned by the US-based firm in its bid document.

In US, the climb in yields is expected to resume, partly due to the effect of the stimulus package from the Biden adimistration, which will be inaugurated next week. An auction of $24 billion in 30-year bonds was well bid, further pressuring yields lower. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 13/32 in price to yield 1.0951%, from 1.138% late on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar rebounded from near three-week lows on Wednesday, rising broadly on hopes of increased government spending. The dollar index rose 0.357%, with the euro down 0.42% to $1.2156. The Japanese yen weakened 0.11% versus the greenback at 103.87 per dollar.

Oil prices fell as the threat of lower demand due to rising global covid-19 cases outweighed support from a greater-than-anticipated drop in U.S. crude inventories.

US crude recently fell 0.6% to $52.89 per barrel and Brent was at $56.04, down 0.95% on the day.

Spot gold dropped 0.4% to $1,848.05 an ounce. Silver fell 1.38% to $25.22.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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