The Indian equity benchmarks are set to open marginally lower on Friday as indicated by the Nifty futures traded on Singapore Exchange. SGX Nifty futures fell 28 points to 15,169. Meanwhile, Asian shares hovered just below a record high on Friday as mixed US economic data caused some investors to show restraint after a global stock market rally pushed many bourses to dizzying heights. Markets in Greater China and most of Southeast Asia are closed on Friday for the Lunar New Year holiday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.03 per cent, trading just shy of an all-time high reached in the previous session. Australian stocks lost 0.31 per cent. Shares in Tokyo fell 0.32 per cent, pulling back from 30-year highs.
Overnight, US stocks edged higher and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe logged in ninth day of gains on Thursday as investors were optimistic about more fiscal stimulus, while oil prices slipped.
Investors digested a dovish Federal Reserve outlook. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reassured investors on Wednesday that interest rates will remain low for some time to spur the economy and jobs growth, but provided no new insights on monetary policy.
Back home, ITC, the country’s largest cigarette maker will be in focus after it reported that its annual net profit declined 12 per cent to Rs 3,663 crore in December quarter. Its revenue from operations advanced 5 per cent to Rs 12,580.40 crore.
Sun Pharma, the country’s leading drug maker informed stock exchanges that it has settled whistleblower matter. “The aforementioned proceedings have been settled and disposed as per the settlement terms set out in the Settlement Order(s), without admitting or denying the findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with the terms of SEBI,” Sun Pharma said in an exchange filing.