Domestic stock markets are likely to start Friday's session on a lacklustre note amid weakness in Asian peers. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures - an early indicator of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty index - dropped as much as 41 points to 12,155.50 ahead of the opening of Indian markets. At 8:38 am, the SGX Nifty futures were down 14.00 points - or 0.11 per cent - at 12,182.50. A slew of disappointing earnings had weighed on the market earlier this week, with benchmark indices S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 losing about 2 per cent each in the past three sessions.
Analysts say the markets are likely to remain volatile until the government presents the Union Budget on February 1, when it may also unveil more measures to lift growth. They also awaited financial results by large cap companies for cues in the near term.
Bank of Baroda, JSW Steel, UltraTech Cement and ICICI Bank will report their earnings for the quarter ended December 31 this week.
Equities in other Asian markets were sluggish amid thin trade after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the coronavirus did not yet constitute a global public health emergency. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was flat.
But worries over rapid spread of the deadly virus kept investors on guard as millions of Chinese travel during the Lunar New Year holiday period.
Trade in Asia is already slowing down for the Lunar New Year holiday, with financial markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea closed on Friday.
Overnight in the US, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2 per cent to a record closing high, while the S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.1 per cent.
On Thursday, the S&P BSE Sensex benchmark index had ended 271.02 points - or 0.66 per cent - higher at 41,386.40 and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 12,180.35, up 73.45 points - or 0.61 per cent - from its previous close, as the markets broke a three-day falling spree.