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Sensex, Nifty Seen Lower On Coronavirus Worries

Indian shares are seen opening flat to slightly lower on Thursday as investors react to disappointing macro data, a rebound in oil prices and weak earnings results from the likes of Ashok Leyland and NBCC.

India's industrial production declined unexpectedly at the end of the year, a government report showed. Output dropped 0.3 percent on a yearly basis in December, confounding expectations for an increase of 1.8 percent. Industrial production grew 1.8 percent in November.

Another report revealed that India's consumer price inflation rose an annual 7.59 percent in January after a 7.35 percent increase in December. Economists had forecast 7.40 percent inflation. In January 2019, inflation was 1.97 percent.

However, with a 42 percent rise in the planned capital expenditure for 2019-20 by the private corporate sector, the beginning of a turnaround in the investment cycle is likely, said an article published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Oil prices jumped over 3 percent at the high on Wednesday but fell again in Asian trading today after China's Hubei province at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak reported almost 15,000 new cases, saying it has started using a broader definition to diagnose people.

On the earnings front, Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland reported a whopping 93 percent fall in its net profit for the December quarter after a sharp fall in its M&HCV volume.

State-owned NBCC posted a 41 percent fall in consolidated net profit for the quarter ended December.

Benchmark indexes Sensex and Nifty climbed around 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively on Wednesday to end at over two-week highs while the rupee ended down 6 paise at 71.34 against the U.S. dollar.

Asian markets wobbled this morning as investors sought safe-haven assets such as gold, the yen and bonds after a sharp jump in the new coronavirus cases at the outbreak's epicenter.

U.S. stocks rose notably overnight, with all three indexes rising between 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent to hit fresh record highs, as coronavirus worries continued to ease and Fed Chair Jerome Powell once again highlighted the resilience of the U.S. economy.

European markets also rose on Wednesday as the slowdown in the rate of growth in new coronavirus infections led to optimism the outbreak is being contained.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.6 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.9 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added half a percent.

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