Asian markets were off to a mixed start on Thursday as hopes of US fiscal stimulus before the presidential election faded and rise in coronavirus infections in parts of Europe propelled investors towards gold
MUMBAI: Indian equity markets are likely to stay range-bound on Thursday, while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening for Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 40,794.74, up 169.23 points or 0.42%. The Nifty closed at 11,971.05, up 36.55 points or 0.31%.
Asian markets were off to a mixed start on Thursday as hopes of US fiscal stimulus before the presidential election faded and a record number of new coronavirus infections in parts of Europe propelled investors towards safe-havens such as gold.
Downbeat comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a stimulus deal was unlikely be made before the 3 November vote weighed on fragile investor sentiment.
With Covid-19 cases surging, some European nations are closing schools as authorities braced for a repeat of the nightmare scenario seen earlier this year.
Infosys will be in focus today as India’s second-largest software services company raised its revenue growth guidance to 2-3% for the year to 31 March from the earlier 0-2% in constant-currency terms. On Tuesday, rival Wipro Ltd, too, had forecast revenue to grow as much as 3.5% in the fiscal third quarter.
The Tata group is in talks to buy a stake in online grocer BigBasket as it plots to join Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Amazon and Walmart group in a market that is seeing explosive growth following the pandemic and lockdowns. According to a Mint report, the Mumbai-based conglomerate may in the first step join the ongoing fundraise of Alibaba-backed BigBasket, which is looking to raise around $200 million in primary equity infusion.
Meanwhile, Crisil has downgraded its ratings on the bank facilities and debt programmes of Thomas Cook India Limited to ‘Crisil A+/CCR A+/Negative/Crisil A1’ from ‘Crisil AA-/CCR AA-/Negative/Crisil A1+'.
In commodities, gold gained 1% on Wednesday, rebounding from a sharp decline in the previous session, boosted by a weaker US dollar and economic uncertainties.
The Australian dollar slid to a one-week low of $0.7129 on Thursday morning after dovish comments from the central bank governor that suggest another rate cut is possible. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.15%, after pulling its best day in three weeks on Tuesday, with the euro unchanged at $1.1746.
In a sign that some investors preferred traditionally safer assets for now, the yen gained 0.4% to hit a near two-week high of 105.11 against the dollar.
A weaker dollar, which makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies, supported oil prices.
Brent crude gained 92 cents, or 2.2%, to $43.37 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate added 87 cents, or 2.2%, to $41.0.