Markets could continue to be volatile on Monday; Reliance, Vodafone Idea in brief

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MUMBAI: Indian stocks could see another volatile session on Monday, while SGX Nifty futures suggest a flat opening in benchmarks.

On Friday, the BSE Sensex finished at 38,854.55, up 14.23 points or 0.04%. The 50-stock Nifty index closed at 11,464.45, up 15.20 points or 0.13%.

Asian stocks began to rise on Monday as hopes for a coronavirus vaccine were rekindled after AstraZeneca resumed its Phase 3 trial as sentiment was still cautious ahead of a big week of central bank meetings in the UK, Japan and USA.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan rose 0.5%, ready for its second straight session of gains.

Friday marked six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. Since then, the world‘s major economies have entered recession and millions of people have lost their jobs, prompting central banks around the world to launch unprecedented stimulus measures.

The bazooka policy has supported financial markets, with the S & P500 rising 22%, 10-year Treasury yields plunging 20.4 basis points and the greenback falling 3.3%. By far the best-performing major currency was the Australian dollar, up 11.9%, on a strong appetite for risk.

Later this week, the US Federal Reserve will hold its two-day policy meeting in which it is expected to hold rates while also explaining the previously announced change to inflation targeting.

Back home, new guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on multi-cap funds may create some volatility in the markets. Sebi on Friday ordered multi-cap funds, whose portfolios are dominated by large-cap stocks, to keep at least 25% of their assets each in large, mid and small caps by January 31. Fund managers have said that strict asset reallocation could trigger massive inflows into mid- and small-cap stocks, reducing the market bias towards large-cap stocks.

Telecoms operator Vodafone Idea has become the co-sponsor of the upcoming Dream11 IPL 2020, which is set to start from September 19, the company said on Saturday. Vodafone and Idea have engaged in the IPL cricket tournament in the past, but this is the very first sponsorship deal Vodafone Idea has signed since its inception in August 2018.

Carlyle Group plans to invest $ 1.5-2 billion to buy a stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), said two people aware of the development, joining a string of high profile investors keen to buy stakes in units of Mukesh Ambani. Reliance Industries Ltd.

In foreign currencies, the dollar was mostly stable against the yen at 106.11, far from its low this year of 101.2.

The euro was stable at $ 1.1841. The Aussie was down slightly to $ 0.7283.

In commodities, US crude rose 0.4% to $ 37.49 per barrel. Brent rose to $ 39.86 per barrel. Gold was slightly higher, with spot prices at $ 1,942.3 an ounce.

Reuters contributed to the story.

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