Fears escalate as Covid infections climb
The daily coronavirus case count in India crossed one lakh for the first time. Sunday’s tally beat the previous high of 97,894, detected on September 16 last year. Taking cognizance of the spurt in Covid cases , Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions, including a night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am in the state and a weekend lockdown, amid an unprecedented surge in Covid cases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a review meeting with high-level officials to review the recent rise in coronavirus cases as well as the nationwide vaccination drive on Sunday, asked central teams to visit Maharashtra and review the reasons for such a spike. India recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, with which its overall caseload soared to 1,24,85,509. Meanwhile, with 513 new deaths, the death toll surged to 1,64,623.
RBI Monetary policy
The Reserve Bank of India is going to convene on 5-7th April for its first bi-monthly review for the fiscal year FY21-22. The 3-day meet will be headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. Consensus polls expect the central bank to maintain status quo amidst surging resurgence of coronavirus in the country. On February 5, after the last MPC meet, the central bank had kept the key interest rate (repo) unchanged citing inflationary concerns. Experts expect the Reserve Bank to continue with its accommodative stance as the looming fears of a strict lockdown across various states in the country could be an impediment to economic growth in the near term.
The PMI data for manufacturing and services sectors are also scheduled to be announced this week, which would also influence market tone. The Markit Manufacturing PMI data for March will be released on Monday, while Markit Composite and Services PMI for March will be announced on Wednesday. Bank loan and deposit growth for the fortnight ended March 26, and foreign exchange reserves for the week ended April 2 will be released on Friday.
US bond yields
U.S. government-bond yields ticked higher after new data showed a big jump in hiring in March, giving investors further cause for optimism about the economic outlook. The yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury note settled at 1.721%, compared with 1.680% Thursday. Yields climbed after the Labor Department said employers added 916,000 jobs last month. Nonfarm payrolls jumped 916,000 for the month while the unemployment rate fell to 6%.
In the week ahead, real estate company Macrotech Developers (formerly known as Lodha Developers), will come out with its IPO. The offer will open for subscription of 7th April and close on 9th April. The price band of the IPO is Rs 483 to Rs 486 per equity share. The company is planning to raise Rs 2,500cr through its initial public offering, which would be used for repaying of debts and acquisition of land or land development rights. Promoters of Macrotech Developers hold 100 % stake in the firm and aim to sell 10% stake through the issue. They will issue 51,440,328 equity shares of Rs 10 during the IPO. The is Macrotech Developers third attempt to go public with its shares. The company tried to go float an IPO in 2009 and again in 2018 but backed down citing challenging times for the realty sector.
The shares of casual dining restaurant Barbeque Nation are expected to be listed on the exchanges on 7th April. The Rs 453 crore IPO of the casual-dining restaurant chain had received decent response from investors, subscribing 5.98 times. The issue received bids for 2,99,01,510 shares against 49,99,609 shares on offer, as per NSE data. The quota for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was subscribed 5.11 times, non-institutional investors 3.10 times, and retail individual investors (RIIs) 13.13 times. The company is promoted by Sayaji Hotels, Sayaji Housekeeping Services, Kayum Dhanani, Raoof Dhanani and Suchitra Dhanani. It is backed by private equity firm CX Partners, which made its first investment in 2013 and again in 2015.
U.S. stock-index futures surged Friday extending a modest rise after a much stronger-than-expected jump in nonfarm payrolls. The U.S. added 916,000 in March and the unemployment rate fell to 6% from 6.2%. Job growth was widespread in March, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction, the Labor Department report showed. Consensus polls expected payrolls to rise by 675,000. Cash trading in equities — and most other markets — remained closed due to the Good Friday holiday.