Indian equity benchmarks are set for a weak start in today's session as indicated by Nifty futures traded on the Singapore Exchange. The Nifty futures on Singapore Exchange also known as the SGX Nifty traded 0.67 per cent or 74 points lower at 10,941. The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 Indexes ended Friday's highly volatile session higher led by gains in HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Asian Paints and Maruti Suzuki after reports suggested that the government is likely to put on hold a plan to raise minimum public shareholding in listed companies.
Indian stock markets fell sharply when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the proposal to raise the minimum public shareholding in companies to 35 per cent from 25 per cent in a budget speech last month.
Wall Street extended its sell-off on Friday on renewed trade fears as the benchmark S&P 500 index and Nasdaq saw their worst weekly percentage plunges since December, when investors were spooked by the prospect of a looming recession.
The blue chip Dow and the S&P 500 hit their lowest levels since late June with S&P 500 and the Nasdaq registering their fifth consecutive days of losses.
The sell-off wrapped up a tumultuous week, which saw the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 and a renewal of trade war fears following a tweet by US President Donald Trump announcing plans to impose additional tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports on Sept 1.
In Asian markets today, Japan's Nikkei dropped 2.4 per cent, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 per cent, Australia's S&P ASX 200 Index declined 1.2 per cent, Taiwan Weighted Index fell 0.8 per cent and the South Korea's KOSPI fell 2 per cent.
Back home, ITC will be on traders' radar after its profit rose 12.6 per cent to Rs. 3,173.94 crore in April-June period compared with Rs. 2,818.68 crore during the same quarter last year, the country's largest cigarette maker said in an exchange filing after market hours on Friday.
Nestle will also react to its June quarter earnings. The company after market hours on Friday said that its net profit rose 11 per cent to Rs 438 crore on sales of Rs 3,001 crore.
Maruti Suzuki will be in focus after the country's largest carmaker cut the number of workers it employs on temporary contracts following a plunge in vehicle sales, news agency Reuters reported.
The company said it employed 18,845 temporary workers on average during the six months ended June 30, down 6 per cent, or 1,181 people, from the same period last year, adding that job cuts had accelerated since April.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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