The Indian benchmark equity indices - Sensex and Nifty - ended flat on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of the RBI monetary policy meet outcome. The BSE Sensex ended 24 points lower at 37,663, while Nifty gained 6 points to 11,101. On Tuesday, Sensex ended 748 points higher at 37,687 and Nifty gained 211 points to settle at 11,102.
Among the index heavyweights, Axis Bank was the top gainer, followed by Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, SBI, Bajaj Finserv and ICICI Bank. On the other hand, PowerGrid and Nestle India were among the laggards.
On the sectoral front, all the indices, barring financial, pharma, FMCG and PSU banks, ended in green, with metal index rising over 4 per cent, followed by nearly 2 per cent gain across auto space.
Here's what you need to know before share market opens on August 6.
RBI policy announcement
The Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy committee (MPC), chaired by Governor Shaktikanta Das, is set to announce its policy statement tomorrow, where the central bank is widely expected to cut repo rates. Experts are, however, divided over the possibility of another rate cut by the RBI arguing that one-time loan restructuring is more essential at this juncture to combat the coronavirus-led economic disruption. While loan restructuring could postpone the recognition of stress in the lender book in the near-term, high share of such assets would be credit negative.
Rate sensitive stocks
Shares of financial, auto and realty stocks will remain in focus on Thursday as the Reserve Bank India's monetary policy committee will release its policy statement tomorrow. The central bank is widely expected to cut the repo rate by 25 bps.
As many as 75 companies, including the likes of Adani Power, Whirlpool and Lupin are scheduled to announce their June quarter earnings report on Thursday.
Coronavirus cases are constantly rising in the country. India witnessed a spike of 52,509 new cases and 857 deaths in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Wednesday. With this, the country has 5,86,244 active cases, 12,82,216 discharged patients and 39,795 deaths. The recovery rate continues to improve and has reached 67.19 per cent, while fatality rate dropped to 2.09 per cent.
Corornavirus vaccine update
According to the latest update on the coronavirus vaccine, Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D Covid vaccine has successfully cleared the first phase of clinical trials. Second phase of human clinical trials, involving 1,000 volunteers, will begin on August 6. Meanwhile, human clinical trial of indigenously developed Covaxin has started at Jeevan Rekha Hospital in Karnataka's Belgavi. Covaxin is India's first vaccine candidate for COVID-19, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology. The Phase I clinical trials for the potential vaccine started on July 15.
Among others, Serum Institute is researching a BCG vaccine, besides a collaborative programme with an US partner. Companies like Biological E and Hester Biosciences are also trying to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Drug major Wockhardt has announced an agreement with the UK Government to manufacture vaccines, mainly being developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and GSK-Sanofi research programmes.
Globally, markets in the Unites States and Europe were trading higher on Wednesday. European stocks were up after falling in six of the last eight sessions as investors digested some of major corporate earnings reports, but weak euro zone economic data restricted gain. Wall Street shares were also trading higher amid reports that White House negotiators may reach a deal on a new coronavirus stimulus package by the end of the week.
Stock specific movement
Shares of DLF will be in focus after the real estate major announced earnings numbers post market hours on Wednesday. The company reported Rs 179.5 crore pre-tax loss for the quarter ended June 30, compared to Rs 158.9 crore during the same quarter last year. Its operating revenue fell 59 per cent to Rs 543.6 crore from Rs 1,331.2 crore.
Diagnostic company SRL will also see some movement after it announced the appointment of Anand K as its new chief executive officer. This is pursuant to the resignation of Arindam Haldar, the former CEO, who has decided to pursue opportunities outside the company after leading it over the last four years.
Apollo Tyres reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 135 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, hit by lower sales due to coronavirus pandemic. Net sales during the quarter under review declined to Rs 2,828 crore, from Rs 4,272 crore in the year-ago period.