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Home / Markets / Stock Markets /  Markets may rise amid volatility; RIL, sugar stocks in focus

MUMBAI: Markets are likely to rise on Thursday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a firm opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 51,849.48, down 85.40 points or 0.16%. The Nifty closed at 15,576.20, down 1.35 points or 0.01%.

Asian shares were a touch below a recent three-month top on Thursday with China a tad weaker as investors weighed inflation concerns ahead of key US economic data while oil prices rose to near 1.5 year highs.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% to 711 points. It went as high as 712.57 on Wednesday, a level not seen since early March.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.4%. Australian shares climbed to all-time highs as investors cheered stronger-than-expected economic growth data released on Wednesday. Chinese shares were marginally softer.

While broader stock markets remain close to record highs, the momentum seen earlier in the year has ebbed as investors begin to worry a stronger-than-expected rebound from covid-19 means higher inflation and sooner-than-expected monetary policy tightening.

A weekly unemployment report and May private payrolls data on Thursday will be followed by monthly jobs numbers on Friday, with investors looking for signs of an economic rebound and rising inflation.

Key companies which will announce March quarter results today are General Insurance Corporation of India, APL Apollo Tubes, Gujarat State Petronet, Quess Corp, Nilkamal and Arvind Fashions.

"We now have a strong balance sheet with high liquidity that will support growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines—Jio, retail, and oil to chemicals," Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries said in his address to shareholders in the company’s annual report released on Wednesday.

The government has directed that the oil companies shall sell ethanol blended petrol with percentage of ethanol up to 20% as per the Bureau of Indian Standards specifications, in the whole of the states and union territories. The move from India towards higher production and use of ethanol is expected to cut the country's exportable surplus of sugar, potentially leading to higher international prices for the sweetener.

Meanwhile, adding to inflation fears, oil prices hit the highest level in 1.5 years led by a decision by major producing nations to restore supply only gradually while the slow pace of nuclear talks between the United States and Iran also helped. read more

The US Federal Reserve published its "Beige Book" report, which pointed to labour shortages and inflation pressures. read more

The Fed has already announced it would begin unwinding the corporate bond holdings it acquired last year to calm credit markets at the height of the pandemic.

Moves in currency markets have been limited with the dollar index and other major pairs staying in tight ranges.

The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was flat at 89.899, not far from a five month trough of 89.535 touched last week. The Japanese yen was barely changed at 109.65 per dollar.

Brent rose 24 cents to settle at $71.59 a barrel, its highest since January 2020.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 25 cents to $69.08 a barrel, its highest since October 2018.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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