Market Ahead, Feb 24: Top factors that could guide markets today

After managing to barely snap their 5-day losing run on Tuesday, the benchmark indices look poised for a gap-up start in today’s trade even as the global setup remained mixed. At 7.15 am, Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange traded 94 points up at 14,808.

In the overnight session, the Dow & S&P500 recouped early losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the central bank was nowhere close to pulling back on its support for the pandemic-damaged US economy even as he voiced expectations for a return to more normal, improved activity later this year. Powell said that Fed would remain accommodative and would not change without advance warning.

Following which Nasdaq index closed down 0.5% as investors sold the big tech stocks that have driven the market rally since last March, and rotated into cyclicals, helping lift the Dow and S&P 500 0.05% and 0.13%, respectively.

Meanwhile, in Asia, the traded on a tepid note on concerns about rising interest rates and rich equity valuations. Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.63%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 0.5% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.32% and Korea’s Kospi rose 0.36%.

That apart, the commodity prices eased a little after hefty gains in recent days and benchmark Brent crude oil futures fell 0.5% to $65.01 a barrel. U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% lower at $61.19 a barrel.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin nursed losses at $49,700 after a two-day selloff.

Now, a look at the stock-specific developments that are likely to sway the market today:

Tata Consumer Products will replace GAIL India in Nifty50 Index from March 31, 2021.

The NCLT, on Tuesday, rejected applications filed by various parties seeking a copy of the resolution plan submitted by winning bidder Kalrock-Jalan Consortium for grounded Jet Airways.

State-owned NTPC said it has signed a share purchase agreement to buy GAIL’s 25.51 per cent stake in Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL), which is commonly known as Dabhol project.

Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company said the USFDA has ruled against its appeal related to Taclantis, its under development product for the treatment of breast cancer.

Aurobindo Pharma has inked a pact to acquire 26 per cent stake each in two Hyderabad-based solar power generating companies.

United Spirits said it is initiating a strategic review of select popular brands as part of its strategy to continue “long-term profitable growth” through premiumising its portfolio.

Coal India board will meet on March 5 to consider the second interim dividend.

In an update on the primary market, Heranba Industries’ IPO was subscribed 84 per cent on Tuesday, the first day of the issue.

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