Market Ahead, March 31: Top factors that could guide markets today

After logging solid gains for two straight sessions, the benchmark indices seemed indecisive over further market direction amid mixed cues from global peers and concerns over rising US bond yields. At 7.30 am, SGX Nifty was trading 9 points lower at 14,920, indicating a flat-to-negative start for Indian

Besides global cues, investors would also keep a close watch on Covid-related developments and the movement of rupee vs the US dollar as the domestic currency hit a one-month low in the previous session.

The domestic unit slumped by 87 paise to close at 73.38 against the US currency. The immediate reason for the fall was the strengthening dollar and rising bond yields.

Meanwhile, in the global markets, Wall Street ended slightly lower with investors selling tech-related growth shares after US Treasury yields hit a 14-month high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.31%, the S&P 500 lost 0.32% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.11%.

In Asia, the stocks were mostly steady at the start of the last trading day of the quarter as investors awaited more details on the next leg of US stimulus spending and monitor upward pressure on bond yields.

Japan’s Topix index fell 0.3%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.3% and South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.5%.

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

IDFC First Bank said it has fixed the floor price at Rs 60.34 for the Rs 3,000 crore qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue.

UltraTech Cement said it has prepaid its long-term loans of Rs 5,000 crore. The loan repayment has been done through free cash flows that the company has generated over the last few quarters despite the pandemic.

Airline stocks will be in focus after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation approved 18,843 domestic flights per week in the summer schedule of 2021, which will last till October 30. This is 80 per cent of the full summer schedule of 22,980 flights per week, and around 77 per cent of the 2020 summer schedule that was approved for 24,409 flights every week.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) on Tuesday said it has bought out its partner SP Ports in the firm that was building an LNG importer terminal in Gujarat, for Rs 397 crore.

Punjab & Sind Bank on Tuesday said it has declared the account of IL&FS Transportation Network Ltd (ITNL) with total dues of Rs 149.98 crore as fraud.

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