Stock markets likely to be under pressure; Yes Bank, Infosys in focus

Indian equity market to take cues from macro data with Yes Bank and Infosys shares in focus. (Photo: Mint)

Mumbai: Indian stock markets are likely to be under pressure following weak global cues and deteriorating domestic macro data. Asian stocks and Wall Street futures fell on Wednesday on growing worries US-China trade talks may be stalled after US President Donald Trump failed to deliver any new information about when the two countries would sign a trade deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%. Australian shares were down 0.17%, while Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.38%.

The dollar drifted in Asia after Trump said a trade deal was “close” but gave no new details on when or where an agreement would be signed, disappointing investors in what was billed as a major speech on his administration’s economic policies. Trump also rattled investors by threatening China with even more tariffs if it does not sign a deal.

Expectations for a “phase one” trade deal some time this month have been a key factor supporting stocks and riskier assets recently. However, the lack of material progress on an agreement has only increased doubts about whether a trade deal will take place at all.

The US stock futures fell 0.14% in Asia after the S&P 500 eked out 0.16% gain on Tuesday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit all-time highs during trading on Tuesday but stocks ended off the session’s high after Trump’s speech.

Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on each other’s goods in a bitter dispute over Chinese trade practices that the Trump administration says are unfair. The standoff has roiled global financial markets and raised the risk of recession for some economies as global trade slows.

In recent weeks, both sides have indicated they were making progress towards an agreement that would potentially scale back some tariffs, but a lack of additional information is starting to unsettle some investors in equities and other riskier assets.

In a reminder of the potential for further friction, Trump said on Tuesday he would raise tariffs on Chinese goods “very substantially” if China does not agree to a deal. “And that’s going to be true for other countries that mistreat us too,” he added.

Back home, retail inflation or consumer price index (CPI) data will be released today. India’s factory output shrank for the second straight month at 4.3% in September, recording its worst show since the present series was launched in April 2012.

Among stocks, Yes Bank is likely to be in focus. According to a Mint report, Sunil Munjal, chairman of Hero Corporate Services Ltd, and Hemendra Kothari, veteran investment banker and founder of DSP Group, have held separate talks with Yes Bank Ltd to purchase stakes of 5-10% each in the cash-starved private lender. If both investments proceed, the bank could receive a total of up to 3,500 crore.

Infosys Ltd has received a second whistleblower complaint accusing chief executive Salil Parekh of misdemeanours, days after a similar letter prompted the company’s board to institute an independent probe. The second whistleblower urged the chairman and directors to act against Parekh.

In currencies, the dollar was just a shade lower at 108.99 yen, pulling away slightly from a five-month high reached no 7 November.

The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes rose slightly to 1.9277% but is likely to move in a narrow range before key data due later Wednesday that is likely to show US consumer prices accelerated slightly in October.

Oil prices fell as diminishing prospects of an immediate resolution to a 16-month long trade war between the world’s two-largest economies suggested less demand for energy in the future. The US crude dipped 0.25% to $56.66 a barrel due to worries about weakening demand for oil.

[“source=livemint”]