New strain of Coronavirus
The discovery of new strain of coronavirus in the United Kingdom sent a panic wave among investors instilling fears of more lockdowns. Even as many countries have started distributing and deploying the vaccines, the new strain witnessed in UK has led to harsher restrictions in Europe. Many countries, including India, have banned flights to and from the UK. In India, the flights have been banned till 31st Dec. As of now, there is no information whether this ban will be extended beyond 31st.
FIIs net bought Rs2,591cr of shares in the week ended December 24, against Rs11,806cr of buying in previous week, taking the total inflow to over Rs41,000cr in December and over Rs1.5 lakh cr in 2020. We could see some slowdown in buying going into the next week as a result of the holiday season.
With over 10 million total infections, India will hold a dry run starting 28th Dec for the largest and most ambitious mass immunization programme in its history. India has already started preparation for roll out of vaccine across the country once it gets green signal from the government body in coming weeks. The government already stated that healthcare staff, frontline workers and people with the age of more than 50 will get the vaccine first in terms of priority.
The dummy vaccination exercise, which will continue for two days, will be carried out in two districts in each of these four states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and Assam — on 28th and 29th December. Though India has not given a nod to any vaccine for emergency use, Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, tested and manufactured in India by Serum Institute, is the front-runner. Once the UK drug regulator gives its approval to the vaccine, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation is likely to hold a meeting where the details will be reviewed and the nod will be given after evaluation.
US stocks closed mostly higher Thursday as investors headed into the long Christmas weekend with hopes that an imminent stimulus agreement, a Brexit deal, and the ongoing vaccine rollout will spell brighter days in the coming year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.04 points, or 0.23%, to 30,199.87, the S&P 500 gained 13.05 points, or 0.35%, to 3,703.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 33.62 points, or 0.26%, to 12,804.73.
Investors continue to keep their eye on the developments in Washington, where Democrats in Congress are expected to try to make alterations to the $900 billion COVID stimulus bill that President Trump has threatened to veto. Trump has asked for higher individual payments to Americans, something Democrats seem to support but is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-held Senate. The hope has been that Trump will back away from his veto threat and the stimulus package might tide the economy over until widespread vaccinations can help the world begin to return to normal.
Meanwhile the U.S. economy continues to deteriorate under widespread coronavirus outbreaks, infections and hospitalizations. The Labor Department said fewer U.S. workers filed for unemployment benefits last week. The number is still incredibly high compared with before the pandemic, but it was better than economists were expecting.
Antony Waste Handling Cell, one of the largest municipal solid waste management companies, is expected to list its shares on bourses on Friday, becoming the first debut on Dalal Street in the new year. The issue was subscribed 15x, much less than some other IPOs that have come in the recent past, because its grey market premium came down sharply. The portion for retail investors was subscribed 16.54x, non-institutional investors 18.68x, and the portion set aside for qualified institutional buyers was subscribed 9.67x.
Britain to EXIT Europe
Britain clinched a Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire. The "Draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement" means that from 2300 GMT on Dec. 31, when Britain finally leaves the European Union's single market and customs union, there will be no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods originating in either place between the United Kingdom and the EU. Prime Minister Boris Johnson cast the deal as the final implementation of the will of the British people who voted 52-48% for Brexit in a 2016 referendum, while Europe's leaders said it was time to leave Brexit behind.
Auto sales data
Auto companies will release their December sales volumes data on the first of January in the coming week, auto stocks - Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Escorts, Eicher Motors, TVS Motor, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Ashok Leyland, etc. will be in focus.