MUMBAI: Indian equities will likely trade in a narrow range on Thursday following global cues. SGX Nifty futures were down 0.2%, indicating a weak opening for the domestic benchmarks.
On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 36,051.81, up 18.75, while the Nifty closed at 10,618.20, up 10.85 points or 0.1%.
Asian shares were ticked lower in early deals though there a growing optimism over a coronavirus vaccine that carries weight over the spread of the disease and simmering US-China tensions.
A run of promising news in efforts to develop a covid-19 vaccine ran through US markets. Biotech startup Moderna's experimental vaccine produced high levels of virus-killing antibodies, an early- stage trial showed. There were also reports of positive news on vaccine work from the University of Oxford.
In the United States, stocks closed sharply higher on the vaccine news, buttressed by a strong quarterly report from Goldman Sachs. A new report from the Federal Reserve also found US businesses saw an uptick in activity as states relaxed restrictions, although uncertainty about the outlook remained with coronavirus cases spreading.
Back home, telecom stocks will be in focus after the slew of announcements Reliance Industries made in its annual general meeting including its foray into 5G.
The department of telecommunications (DoT) has withdrawn its orders asking three non-telecom public-sector companies--GAIL (India) Ltd, Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd and Oil India Ltd--to clear adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-related dues. This comes as a huge relief for the companies as the DoT estimates of the dues stood at around ₹4 trillion.
Infosys Ltd, India’s second largest software exporter by revenue, on Wednesday surprised the markets by providing revenue growth guidance of 0-2% for 2020-21, in constant currency, given that analysts had predicted that IT companies will refrain from an annual guidance until at least the next two quarters. Infosys’s net profit for the quarter-ended June beat analyst estimates, rising 11.5% year-on-year to ₹4,233 crore.
The central board of the State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday approved the raising of up to ₹25,000 crore through bonds in the financial year 2020-21.
The ₹15,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) of Yes Bank Ltd was subscribed 24% on Wednesday, the first day of the offering, according to data from stock exchanges.
Oil prices rose thanks to a drop in US crude inventories, but gains were limited by plans from OPEC and its allies to ease supply curbs. Brent crude settled up 89 cents, or 2.1%, at $43.79 a barrel.
Investors appeared willing to take on more risk in currency markets, pushing the safe-haven US dollar to a one-month low. The dollar index fell 0.105%, dropping below 96 for the first time since June.
The risk appetite was also evident as US Treasury yields rose and the yield curve steepened, indicating a wider spread between long- and short-term interest rates.
Reuters contributed to the story.