Indian shares set to open lower on Middle East tension, US rate jitters

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian shares are set to open lower on Wednesday, as intensifying conflict in the Middle East and worries of a prolonged high interest rate regime after a better-than-expected U.S. retail sales data hurt sentiment.

India’s GIFT Nifty was down 0.07% at 19,797 as of 8:09 a.m. IST compared to its overnight close, indicating that the Nifty 50 will open below Tuesday’s close of 19,811.50.

Asian markets edged lower after a blast at a Gaza hospital, which killed hundreds of Palestinians, dealt a blow to hopes of containing the Israel-Hamas military conflict. Strong gross domestic product (GDP) data from China, however, capped further decline. [MKTS/GLOB]

Worries about supply disruptions from the Middle East lifted oil prices to nearly $92 per barrel. Rising oil prices are a negative for importers of crude like India. [O/R]

Wall Street equities were mixed overnight, while U.S. Treasury yields surged after U.S. retail sales data triggered concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain higher rates for longer, in its fight to tame inflation. [MKTS/GLOB]

Domestic financial services and information technology stocks will be in focus as investors await street reaction to the quarterly results of Bajaj Finance, L&T Technology Services and Tata Elxsi.

Earnings of Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank and Wipro, due later in the day, will also be in focus.

Analysts said that September-quarter results, festive demand and updates on the geopolitical concerns in the Middle East will influence the trajectory of domestic equities in the near term.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought Indian shares worth 2.64 billion rupees ($31.72 million) on a net basis on Tuesday. Domestic investors bought shares worth 1.13 billion rupees.


** Bajaj Finance: Non-bank lender reports smaller-than-expected rise in second-quarter profit, as provisions for bad loans increased.

** L&T Technology Services: Co posts rise in consolidated net profit in Q2, but trims its fiscal 2024 growth forecast, on longer deal decision cycles and macroeconomic challenges.

** Tata Elxsi: Co reports rise in September quarter profit, aided by an uptick in transportation business.

** Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders: Shipbuilding company signs contract with Ministry of Defence for the construction and delivery of one training ship for the Indian Coast Guard, at a cost of 3.10 billion rupees.

($1 = 83.2290 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng)