Markets may continue to be weak as global peers drag; Bharti, ICICI Bank in focus

Indian markets may continue to be dragged by weakness in global peers as trade tension between US and China escalates. Asian shares wallowed near five-week lows on early Tuesday after US President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs re-ignited worries about US-China trade tensions while Japan’s Nikkei opened down after a 10-day break.

Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.1%, taking a delayed hit after the country’s financial markets opened after a 10-day market break to mark the ascension of Japan’s new emperor to the throne.

Last night, the benchmark S&P 500 fell as much as 1.6% during the session while US Treasury yields dropped as investors turned to low-risk government bonds.

There was little movement in the currency market, with the euro trading flat at $1.1199, having held in a tight range for the past four sessions, while the dollar was steady at 111.75 yen.

Back home, stocks like ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel will be in focus today after they declared March quarter earnings post markets trading hours. ICICI Bank Ltd posted a 50% decline in net profit for fiscal year 2018-19 at ₹3,363.30 crore because of higher expenses and provisions. Operating profit however grew 17% to ₹22,072 crore, suggesting an improvement in core operational performance at the private sector lender.

Bharti Airtel Ltd’s fiscal-fourth quarter profit rose 29% from a year earlier because of a one-time gain of ₹2,022.1 crore and a tight control on sales and marketing expenses amid a tariff war with rival Reliance Jio. Net profit rose to ₹107.2 crore in the three months ended 31 March from ₹82.9 crore in the year earlier.

Major companies like ABB India, Escorts and Vedanta will announce their March quarter results today.

Meanwhile, oil futures edged higher in volatile trade on Monday as rising tensions between the United States and Iran buoyed prices after they touched a one-month low following US President Donald Trump’s threat that he may raise tariffs on Chinese goods.

Brent crude futures rose 39 cents to settle at $71.24 a barrel. The global benchmark earlier sank to $68.79 a barrel, its lowest since April 2. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 31 cents to settle at $62.25 a barrel. WTI’s session low was $60.04 a barrel, the weakest since March 29.

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