Sensex, Nifty may stay subdued as Asian shares hit 6-week lows

  • Titan Company’s stock is likely to be in focus after it announced its March quarter results on Wednesday
  • Major companies which are expected to announce March quarter results today are HCL Technologies, Asian Paints, Apollo Tyres

Indian markets are expected to stay subdued today due to lack of positive triggers while global peers are on a downtrend. Asian shares hit six-week lows in early trade on Thursday as increased tensions ahead of key Sino-US trade negotiations fanned fresh concerns about global economy outlook. Stocks extended earlier losses in Asian trade after US President Donald Trump said that China "broke the deal" in trade talks with Washington and would face stiff tariffs if no agreement is reached.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.3% to its lowest level since March 28. Japan's Nikkei average shed 0.9% to its five-week low, while South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.8%.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at on Friday. Beijing has threatened to retaliate if tariffs rise, without elaborating on the details.

Wall Street shares ended a choppy session flat to lower overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising marginally, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite dropping 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

Back home, Titan Company’s stock is likely to be in focus after it announced its March quarter results on Wednesday. The watch and accessory maker reported a 14.4% jump in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended March 31, while revenue at the maker of Titan watches and Tanishq jewellery was up over 19%. The company's jewellery business recorded a strong performance for the quarter, while its profit after tax came below estimates on account of one-offs during the quarter.

Major companies which are expected to announce March quarter results today are HCL Technologies, Asian Paints, Apollo Tyres, Voltas, South Indian Bank, Dalmia Bharat, Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation, HCC, Indian Overseas Bank and PNB Housing Finance.

In the currency market, sterling weakened on signs that Brexit talks between Britain's government and the main opposition party may soon collapse.

The pound fell below the psychologically key $1.30 level, touching a six-day low overnight, and last traded at $1.301. The dollar index against a basket of six major peers was flat, with other major currencies also confined to well-trodden ranges. The euro was little changed at $1.1194 and the Japanese yen little changed versus the greenback at 109.96 yen.

In the commodity market, oil futures gained on Wednesday, boosted by a surprise drawdown in US crude stockpiles, but an escalating US-Chinese trade fight limited gains as investors worried about the global outlook for energy demand.

Brent crude futures dropped 0.4% to $70.03 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also retreated 0.5% to $61.82 per barrel.

Copper fell to a near three-month low on Wednesday on concerns over a potential resumption of tit-for-tat trade tariffs between the United States and China. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.5% to $6,148 a tonne, after touching its lowest since 15 February at $6,119.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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