MUMBAI: Indian stock markets are likely to extend gains on Wednesday, while trends in SGX Nifty indicate a positive opening. On Tuesday, the BSE Sensex rose 1.6% to end trading at 43,277.65. The National Stock Exchange’s broader Nifty index gained 1.36% to 12,631.10.
Stock markets gained on Wednesday, as news of a working covid-19 vaccine seemed to inoculate investors against worry about surging infections in Europe and the United States, while the kiwi rose as traders thought the central bank sounded upbeat.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4% and Japan’s Nikkei rose 1%, although most of the action was switching between sectors within markets, as investors shift from coronavirus winners into some of the hardest hit sectors.
Banks, for example, made modest additions to Tuesday gains, as did energy and some travel stocks while tech companies fell. Oil futures sat by two-month highs on anticipation of better demand in a post-pandemic world.
Major companies which will announce September quarter results today are Aban Offshore, Ashoka Buildcon, Bharat Forge, Coal India, Godrej Industries, Gujarat State Petronet and Reliance Infra.
State Bank of India shares will be in news as the bank on Tuesday said its board of directors has approved to divest over 8.5% in UTI Trustee Company. “The executive committee of the central board of directors of State Bank of India approved the divestment of 8,510 equity shares constituting 8.5% of the bank’s stake in UTI Trustee Company Pvt Ltd,” SBI said in a regulatory filing.
Pfizer is in talks with the Indian government to sell its covid-19 vaccine candidate, which it believes has the potential to be an important part of the early vaccine response, a company spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said banks need to promote only RuPay cards, and believes that with the card network becoming global, it is not necessary for Indian customers to be offered other cards.
Currency markets were mostly steady save for the kiwi, which climbed half a percent to a 19-month high after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept rates on hold, as expected, but sounded less dovish than forecast about the outlook.
Other majors and fixed income markets were mostly flat with traders unwilling to extend a selloff in the haven assets of bonds and the yen while a trying northern winter looms.
The moves mirror a Wall Street rotation since Pfizer Inc announced on Monday that its covid-19 vaccine candidate, developed with German partner BioNTech, showed a 90% success rate in preventing infection during trials.
That came with a big selloff in U.S. Treasuries and the Japanese yen, even while covid-19 deaths have crossed 300,000 in Europe and keep rising in spite of a second series of social restrictions as the northern autumn turns to winter.
Brent crude futures were last 30 cents firmer at $43.90 a barrel, just below a two-month high made overnight. Gold was steady at $1,879.36 an ounce.
(Reuters contributed to the story)