Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), on the other hand, reported a mere 0.3% sequential growth in revenue in constant currency terms. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), on the other hand, reported a mere 0.3% sequential growth in revenue in constant currency terms. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Stock markets seen under pressure on oil price rise; RIL, TCS shares in focus

  • Early turnover in Asian shares was light, with US stock and bond markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
  • Shares of Reliance Industries Ltd will be in focus. RIL reported a 13.5% year-on-year jump in its net profit to 11,640 crore

Indian stock markets may be under pressure at the start of the week following a rise in crude oil prices. Asian equities, meanwhile, neared a 20-month top on Monday as stocks on the Wall Street extended their run of record peaks on solid US economic data and lashes of liquidity from the Federal Reserve.

Oil prices jumped as oilfields in southwest Libya began shutting down after forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar closed a pipeline, potentially reducing national output to a fraction of its normal level. Brent crude futures rose 79 cents to $65.71 a barrel, while US crude jumped 67 cents to $59.21.

Early turnover in Asian shares was light, with US stock and bond markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed up 0.1%, after notching its highest close since June 2018. Japan's Nikkei added 0.2% to be near its highest in 15 months. Australia's main index scored another all-time peak and South Korea was near its best level since October 2018. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%.

Eyes will be on US corporate earnings, with Netflix Inc, Intel Corp and Texas Instruments Inc set to report results this week, while central banks in the European Union, Canada and Japan hold policy meetings.

Sentiment was supported by the relentless run of record highs on the Wall Street. Only three weeks into the new year, the S&P 500 has gained just over 3% and the Nasdaq almost 5%.

Back home, shares of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will be in focus. RIL reported a 13.5% year-on-year jump in its net profit to 11,640 crore for the three months ended 31 December. According to analysts, billionaire Mukesh Ambani, who has aimed to have his telecom and retail businesses contribute on a par with his energy and materials business over the next decade, may realize the goal earlier than anticipated.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), on the other hand, reported a mere 0.3% sequential growth in revenue in constant currency terms, far lower than the close to 1% growth analysts were expecting.

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group has scaled down its e-commerce venture, Retail 3.0, and laid off 350-400 employees, according to a Mint report.

The US Federal Reserve's buying binge on Treasury bills has kept bonds bid even as stocks surged and economic data stayed healthy. Yields on two-year notes are dead in line with the overnight cash rate at 1.56%, compared to 2.62% this time last year.

The string of mostly solid US data has underpinned the dollar, particularly against the safe-harbour yen. The dollar stood at 110.18 yen on Monday, having hit an eight-month peak of 110.28 last week.

The euro was stuck at $1.1093, while the sterling pound idled at $1.3000 after poor UK economic news fanned speculation about a cut in interest rates. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar had firmed to 97.624 and away from the recent trough of 96.355.

Spot gold stood at $1,557.75 per ounce, having hit a seven-year top earlier this month of $1,610.90 at the height of Iran-US tensions.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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