This Article is From May 18, 2020

Sensex, Nifty Likely To Open Lower Today

Last Friday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had ended 25.16 points - or 0.08 per cent - lower at 31,097.73 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark at 9,136.85.

Sensex, Nifty Likely To Open Lower Today

Domestic stock markets are likely to start Monday's session on a lower note as the country entered the fourth phase of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Singapore Exchange (SGX) Nifty futures - an early indicator of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) index back home - declined by 68.75 points to 9,056.25 at the weakest level in early trade ahead of the opening of Indian markets. At 7:58 am, the SGX Nifty futures were down 31.00 points - or 0.34 per cent - at 9,094.00.

Asian shares crept ahead on Monday and oil prices hit a five-week high as more countries re-opened their economies, stirring hopes the world was nearer to emerging from recession.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 per cent in early trade. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2 per cent and South Korean stocks 0.1 per cent.

In the US markets, the S&P 500 closed higher after swinging between gains and losses on Friday as investors weighed worries about Sino-U.S. trade relations and weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data against growing optimism that easing coronavirus restrictions would boost activity this month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.25 per cent, S&P 500 gained 0.39 per cent and Nasdaq Composite added 0.79 per cent.

Oil prices jumped by more than $1 a barrel on Monday to their highest in more than a month, supported by ongoing output cuts and signs of gradual recovery in fuel demand as more countries ease curbs imposed to stop the coronavirus pandemic spreading.

Brent crude climbed $1.34, or 4.1 per cent, to $33.84 a barrel by 1244 GMT, after touching a high since April 13. US West Texas Intermediate crude was up $1.40, or 4.8 per cent, at $30.83 a barrel, the highest in nine weeks or since March 16.

Meanwhile, in the fifth and final tranche of the stimulus measures announced on Sunday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated an additional amount of Rs 40,000 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), over and above the budgetary allocation of Rs 61,000 crore for the current financial year

Ms Sitharaman also said that the government would privatise state-run companies in non-strategic sectors and stop fresh insolvency cases for a year as the country battles with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. 

On the stock-specific front, Reliance Industries shares will be in the limelight after growth equity firm General Atlantic Partners decided on May 17 to invest Rs 6,598.38 crore in Jio Platforms, the fourth major deal in a little less than four weeks from leading global tech investors that will infuse a total Rs 67,194.75 crore in the digital unit of India's largest private enterprise.

Last Friday, the S&P BSE Sensex index had ended 25.16 points - or 0.08 per cent - lower at 31,097.73 and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark at 9,136.85, down 5.90 points or 0.06 per cent compared to the previous close, as the markets only managed to trim losses in a weak session.