Markets likely to be volatile, investors await RBI monetary policy review3 min read . Updated: 07 Aug 2019, 08:19 AM IST
- RBI is expected to deliver a 25 basis points (bps) cut in its repo rate
- Shares of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd will be in focus
Indian stock markets are expected to be volatile on Wednesday as investors await Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy review, due later in the day. Asian shares steadied slightly on Wednesday as investors caught their breath from a searing week-long selloff, with steps taken by Chinese authorities to contain a sliding yuan, helping calm fears of a full-blown Sino-US trade and currency war.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.05% in early trade after tumbling 8.26% in the previous eight sessions. Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend to slip 0.26%.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 1.30% on Tuesday and MSCI's broad gauge of stocks across the world rose 0.50%, its first gain in seven sessions.
The rebound came as the People’s Bank of China took steps on Tuesday to stabilise the yuan with a firmer-than-expected fixing and a bond sale to signal that the authorities wished to stem the rout. Comments from Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, also soothed sentiment. Kudlow said on Tuesday the Trump administration wants to continue trade talks with China and still plans to host a Chinese delegation for talks in September.
The yuan had fallen sharply on Monday, going past the symbolic 7-per-dollar level, and prompting Washington to label Beijing a currency manipulator in a major escalation of the year-long trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
In early Asian trade on Wednesday, the offshore yuan was flat at 7.0533 yuan per dollar, off Tuesday's low of 7.1400, its weakest level since international trading in the Chinese currency began in 2010.
Many investors believe Trump cannot afford prolonged instability in financial markets since his reputation was staked so closely on economic growth and the success of the US stock market.
Back home, investors will be eyeing Reserve Bank of India monetary policy review. The RBI is expected to deliver a 25 basis points (bps) cut in its repo rate, the fourth in a row since Shaktikanta Das took over as the governor in December last year. Among things that will shape the decision of the monetary policy committee (MPC), the rate setting body, will be the economic slowdown, low inflation and geopolitical tensions.
Shares of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd will be in focus as the feud between the promoters intensified with co-founder Rakesh Gangwal opposing a plan to expand the airline’s board to 10 members, a departure from his earlier stand, alleging loopholes that will tilt the scales further in favour of his partner, Rahul Bhatia.
Protracted acrimony between the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) and the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) over trading of Nifty derivatives in Singapore came to an end on Tuesday, with the two agreeing to create a new platform for trading them at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, the rather grim backdrop supported safe-haven assets, with gold hitting a six-year high of $1,477 per ounce in early Wednesday trade. It last stood at $1.474.7.
US bonds have also retained much of their gains made in the past week. The 10-year Treasuries notes yielded 1.695%, compared to above 2% just a week ago, as investors bet on another rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September.
In the currency market, the dollar traded at 106.33 yen, down 0.13% from late US levels, but off Tuesday's seven-month low of 105.52. The euro stood flat at $1.1203. The Australian dollar fetched $0.67605, just a stone throw from its seven-month low of $0.6748 touched on Monday.
The New Zealand dollar was little changed at $0.6527. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is widely expected to cut interest rates for the second time this year, by 25 basis points to all-time low of 1.25% on Wednesday, to counter pressure on the economy from global trade disputes.
Oil prices also weakened, with global benchmark Brent crude slipping to seven-month lows, as trade tensions between the US and China intensified worries about weakening world demand. Brent crude LCOc1 futures fell 0.36% to $58.73 a barrel, near its low on Tuesday of $58.55, a trough last seen in early January.
(Reuters contributed to the story)