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

Tracking a weak finish for Wall Street in the overnight session, benchmark indices too looked set to open on a tepid note. However, a sharp plunge in crude oil prices on Tuesday and the government’s latest announcement to vaccinate all above 45 years of age against Covid-19 starting next month could help limit the losses.

At 7.15 am, Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange traded 0.18 per cent lower at 14,798.

The US stocks tumbled on Tuesday as concerns about the cost of infrastructure spending and potential tax hikes to pay for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill weighed on investors. Besides, concern that rising virus cases and new restrictions in Germany signal the global reopening will be delayed also dented the sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94%, the S&P 500 lost 0.76% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.12%.

Consequently, Asian stocks opened mostly weaker. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4% and South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.8%.

Meanwhile, in oil markets, both US and Brent crude future declined 6% last night and touched the lowest level since February on demand concerns amid new pandemic curbs and slow vaccine rollout in Europe. In early trade today, both the oil futures edged higher but gains were capped. Brent crude futures rose 0.4% to $61.06 and West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 0.3% to $57.95 a barrel.

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

The government will sell up to 15 cent stake in Rail Vikas Nigam through an offer for sale. The offer to sell the government’s 10 per cent stake would open for institutional investors today, with a green shoe option to sell an additional 5 per cent stake in the public sector undertaking. The offer will open for retail investors on Thursday. The floor price for the sale has been fixed at Rs 27.50/ share.

Shares of Anupam Rasayan will debut on bourses today. The IPO was subscribed 44 times and was commanding a premium of 13 per cent in the grey market as of yesterday.

Hero MotoCorp on Tuesday said it will make an upward revision in the ex-showroom prices of its motorcycles and scooters, with effect from April 1, 2021, in order to partially offset the impact of higher commodity costs.

Saudi Aramco remains in discussion with Reliance Industries for a potential deal to buy a 20 per cent stake in its oil-to-chemical unit, Morgan Stanley said on Monday citing the Saudi firm’s analyst call post announcing 2020 earnings.

Kalrock-Jalan consortium has sought the creation of a task force for allocation of slots and traffic rights to Jet Airways on principle of historicity. The consortium has made this request in its affidavit before the National Law Company Tribunal.

Lastly, an update on the primary market.

The Rs 453 crore IPO by Barbeque Nation is set to open for subscription today. The IPO is priced between Rs 498-500 per share. Analysts covering the issue have raised concerns on valuations and its profitability. The company on Tuesday raised Rs 203 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial share-sale.

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