Asian shares eased from record highs on Friday as investors took some money off the table after a recent rally that was driven by hopes a massive U.S. economic stimulus plan by incoming President Joe Biden will help temper the covid-19 impact
Indian equity markets are likely to consolidate on Friday, while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a soft opening for domestic benchmark indices. The BSE Sensex vaulted past the 50,000 mark for the first time on Thursday, but ended down 0.34% at 49,624.76. The Nifty closed at 14,590.35, down 0.37%.
Asian shares eased from record highs on Friday as investors took some money off the table after a recent rally that was driven by hopes a massive U.S. economic stimulus plan by incoming President Joe Biden will help temper the covid-19 impact.
The index has jumped 3.7% so far this week, reflecting relief over an orderly transition of power in the United States and strong expectations that U.S. stimulus will provide continued support for global assets.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress have indicated they are willing to work with President Joe Biden on his administration's top priority, a $1.9 trillion U.S. fiscal stimulus plan, though some are opposed to the price tag.
Democrats took control of the US Senate on Wednesday, though they will still need Republican support to pass the programme.
Back home, Reliance Industries, Yes Bank, JSW Steel, HDFC Life, SBI Life, Apollo Hospitals, Gland Pharma, Crompton Greaves, Oberoi Realty and Indian Bank are few top companies which will announce their December quarter results today.
Bajaj Auto on Thursday reported a 23% jump in profit after tax at ₹1,556 crore for the December quarter.
Meanwhile, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, India’s largest two-wheeler maker, expects the current momentum in demand in the rural market to continue in FY22, riding on hopes of further measures to boost rural income in the upcoming Budget.
In currency markets, the U.S. dollar picked up against a basket of currencies after three straight days of losses. It is down 0.7% so far this week.
Against the Japanese yen, the dollar has slipped 0.25% so far this week.
The single currency was flat even as European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde warned about a renewed surge in covid-19 infections and the prospect of prolonged restrictions that could challenge the region's economic outlook.
The ECB, which kept interest rates steady on Thursday, also pledged to provide more support for the economy if needed.
The greenback's recent slide has been led by investors ploughing money into higher-yielding currencies on optimism about a rapid economic recovery led by massive U.S. stimulus.
In commodities, oil prices slipped after an unexpected build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent was off 23 cents at $55.86 a barrel while US crude inched 26 cents lower to $52.86.