The Indian market is likely to open lower as domestic concerns continue over the 21-day lockdown announced by the Modi government amid coronavirus crisis. The SGX Nifty, an indicator of the opening for the Sensex and the Nifty, was also trading lower by 74.25 points or 0.89 per cent at 8,305.75 at 7:00 am, hinting at a negative start for the domestic market. Here are the 10 things you need to know before the market opens:
1. Asia: Stocks in Asia traded mixed on Thursday morning as investors await the release of US jobless claims data expected later in the day stateside. Shares in Japan led losses among the region’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 falling 3.14 per cent in early trade while the Topix index shed 2.34 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, added 0.92 per cent. Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose about 1.4 per cent in morning trade. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.13 per cent higher.
2. US: US stock futures shed earlier gains in overnight trading on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the national initial jobless claims data expected on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, the Dow climbed more than 2 per cent, or 495.64 points to close at 21,200.55. Boeing and Nike fueled the 30-stock index. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 1.1 per cent. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, dipping 0.5 per cent as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all closed lower.
3. Market At Close On Wednesday: Indian shares rose 6-7 per cent on Wednesday, as US senators and Trump administration officials reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The Sensex ended 1,862 points higher at 28,536, while the Nifty50 also rose 517 points to settle at 8,318.
4. Crude Oil: Oil prices fell on Wednesday despite a massive pending US economic stimulus package as the coronavirus pandemic sharply dented US fuel demand in the latest week, with traders bracing for further declines. Brent crude was down 17 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $26.98 a barrel, at 09:10 AM GMT. US crude futures fell 21 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to $23.80 a barrel. (Image Source: Reuters)
5. Rupee Close: On Tuesday, the rupee ended at the strongest level of the session at 75.94, up 26 paise compared to the previous close, amid gains in domestic equity markets. At this level, it is down 6.42 per cent so far this year (year-to-date). The market remained shut on Wednesday on account of the Gudhi Padwa holiday. (Image Source: Reuters)
6. India May Unveil Stimulus Package: India is likely to agree with an economic stimulus package of more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore ($19.6 billion) to fight a downturn in the country that is currently locked down to stem the spread of coronavirus, two sources familiar with the matter reported Reuters. The Indian government has not yet finalised the package and discussions are ongoing between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, the finance ministry, and Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said both the sources, who asked not to be named as the matter was still under discussion.
7. Banks Announce Credit Line: Several public sector banks have announced emergency credit lines to provide liquidity relief to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus spread related lockdown. State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Bank of India and Indian Bank were the first of the lot to announce these relief schemes. State Bank of India has introduced a limited-period scheme, called the COVID Emergency Credit Line (CELC).
8. NHAI To Close Tolling Operations: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked highway authorities to close down commercial and private establishments for a period of 21 days. The directive came after NHAI in a letter sought the ministry’s direction regarding the continuation of tolling operation on fee plazas of NHAI in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. “Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down for a period of 21 days w.e.f. 25.03.2020 for containment of COVID-19 Epidemic in the country,” the statement said.
9. Indian Aviation Sector May Incur Heavy Loss: Indian aviation sector is projected to incur a staggering USD 3.3-3.6 billion loss in the first quarter of the next financial year if flight services remain grounded till June-end, according to a report. Aviation consultancy CAPA India on Wednesday also said there is a need for a coordinated national aviation industry response to the current situation. In a report, CAPA India said airlines are expected to post a loss of around USD 1.75 billion while that of airports and concessionaires could be USD 1.50-1.75 billion. Ground handlers are estimated to post a loss of USD 80-90 million.
10. Auto Companies Will Help In Making Ventilators: The Centre has started reaching out to top automobile manufacturers as well as auto parts companies seeking their help in ramping up production of ventilators and other medical gear that can help in fighting the spread of COVID-19. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Department of Pharmaceuticals have already reached out to companies like Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors and Hyundai. More companies will be approached, the sources said. Companies like Tata Group and M&M have already started doing the groundwork for making ventilators.
(With inputs from cnbctv18)