Markets may stay cautious; Zee, Piramal Enterprise in focus


MUMBAI: Markets are likely to stay volatile on Thursday while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a weak opening of Indian benchmark indices. On Wednesday, the BSE Sensex ended at 59,413.27, down 254.33 points or 0.43% and the Nifty closed at 17,711.30, down 37.30 points or 0.21%.

Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as investors assessed the impact of skyrocketing energy costs on inflation and the pandemic recovery. Treasuries edged up and the dollar pared an advance.

Japanese shares slipped as the ruling party’s new leader, who is set to become the next prime minister, is seen by investors as maintaining stability. Australia rose, while Hong Kong fell and China was little changed. US futures climbed. The Nasdaq 100 notched its third straight day of losses after a technology rally petered out. Dip buyers helped push the S&P 500 higher.

Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Group, which has completed the acquisition of Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL) under the insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC), has made ambitious plans for the merged entity. The merged entity aims to be the fastest growing company in the affordable housing segment and aims to expand the branch network from the existing 301 to 1,000 over the next 4-5 years, said Anand Piramal, executive director, Piramal Group.

US investor Invesco on Wednesday approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd for failing to announce a date for the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove Zee’s chief executive and managing director, Punit Goenka, as a director and reconstitute the board.

The dollar traded near the highest since November as investors opted for safe havens. The deadline for the US government to keep running and avoid a default is looming amid wrangling in Washington.

Treasury yields remained around the highest since June. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and his counterparts in Japan, Europe and the UK voiced cautious optimism that supply-chain disruptions lifting inflation rates around the world would ultimately prove temporary.

In China, investors continue to monitor the situation at China Evergrande Group. Two holders of a dollar bond with a coupon due Wednesday said they hadn’t received payment. The central bank has been injecting liquidity into the financial system to ensure there’s sufficient liquidity ahead of a week-long holiday.

Investors are finishing the third quarter concerned about global growth amid inflationary pressures, a looming energy crisis, supply chain bottlenecks and regulatory risks emanating from China.

Meanwhile, China’s factory activity contracted in September for the first time since the pandemic began last year, a sign of the damage a widespread electricity crunch is having on an already slowing economy.

(Bloomberg contributed to the story)

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