Sensex plunges 792 points, rupee hits 74/$ as RBI holds rates; Infosys, TCS up


Technical Outlook

Nagaraj Shetti, Technical Research Analyst, HDFC securities said the underlying trend of Nifty is sharply down, still there is no indication of any lower levels recovery in the market. "The overall negative chart pattern is hinting at a possibility of further weakness for the next couple of weeks, before showing any meaningful upside bounce from the lows."
He said the crucial lower levels to be watched is at 9,950-9,875, which are 38.2 percent fibonacci retracement of larger leg and previous important swing lows-green and grey lines). This levels could be achieved in the next 2 weeks, he feels.
Rupee Closing
The Indian rupee hit 74 against the US dollar for the first time after the RBI move, but it recovered from its record low of 74.22 in the late trade. The currency closed at 73.76 a dollar, down 18 paise.
"Rupee was caught off guard and weakened beyond 74, after RBI surprised markets by keeping rates unchanged. Given the rising oil and trade tensions, traders will bet on exports going up, to curb further weakening in the currency," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services told Moneycontrol.
Gaurang Somaiya, Currency Analyst, MOFSL expect that the USDINR pair now faces resistance at 75.30 and on the downside support is at 73.40-72.90. 
Nomura on RBI Policy
The MPC’s decision to stand pat is a clear signal that inflation remains the anchor of monetary policy. Interest rates will not be used to manage the currency, but the MPC will respond to the inflationary consequences of depreciation.
Currently, although higher oil prices and a weaker currency add to near-term cost pressures, the RBI acknowledged the expected inflation undershoot on lower food inflation and tighter financial conditions. The pause also gives it a chance to wait and observe the impact of the hikes already delivered. Lastly, the change in its stance indicates the MPC remains ready to hike, if inflation pressures become more adverse.
Overall, given our view of an impending growth slowdown due to a significant tightening of financial conditions, 50bp in cumulative hikes already in place and the need for RBI to allow lagged effects of policy transmission to become apparent, we expect rates to remain unchanged over our forecast horizon.  
Market Closing:
Bears took complete control of Dalal Street on Friday as more than Rs 4 lakh crore worth of wealth eroded in single day.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 792.17 points or 2.25 percent to close at 34,376.99 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 282.80 points or 2.67 percent to 10,316.50.
About three shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.
Final capitulation started in index heavyweights suggested that it is a brutal fall. Reliance Industries fell over 6 percent. Bajaj Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance and DHFL were down over 9 percent.
Maruti Suzuki, HDFC, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank crashed while TCS and Infosys bucked the trend on rupee fall.
Europe Update
European stocks were lower, as investors awaited a key jobs report after benchmark US Treasury yields surged to a fresh seven-year high.
France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down 0.6 percent each while Germany's DAX was down 0.8 percent.
Market focus is largely attuned to a sell-off in US bond yields, after robust economic data exacerbated concerns about inflation and the risk of faster-than-expected interest rate hikes.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year note surged to a seven-year high of 3.232 percent overnight, following strong data released in the previous session. It comes ahead of September's payrolls report, scheduled for release on Friday, with investors set to scour the report for signs of wage growth. Source:CNBC 
Market Crashed Further:
Bears further tightened their grip on Dalal Street as the Sensex crashed 897.02 points or 2.55 percent to 34,272.14 due to broadbased selling.
The Nifty plunged 319.80 points or 3.02 percent to 10,279.50.  
Economist View on RBI Policy
Abhimanyu Sofat, Head of Research, IIFL Securities said
RBI policy announcement of keeping rates unchanged is a surprise; this may lead to a negative impact especially the currency market. With the US yield, inching up to 3.25 percent it was expected the RBI would increase the rates to protect against inflation rise. 
We believe because of the policy one should continue to focus on export-oriented &import substitution stories from both the service and manufacturing sector. 
The presumption of lower inflation due to lower food prices may be a bit in coherent as core inflation may rise due to the depreciating currency. If the crude prices continue to surge then RBI may have to come with frontloaded rate increases. 
CARE Ratings on Jindal Power
CARE Ratings has reaffirmed stable outlook credit rating for Jindal Power, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL).
"CARE has reaffirmed stable outlook credit rating of A- (Single A minus) to Jindal Power which operates the 3400 MW OP Jindal Super Thermal Power Plant at Tamnar, Chhattisgarh," JSPL said in a statement on Friday.
According to information on CARE Ratings website, instruments with CARE A rating are considered to have adequate degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations.
Such instruments carry low credit risk, while the modifier (-) reflects comparative standing within the category.
The 'stable' outlook indicates expected stability (or retention) of the credit ratings in the medium term.
Economist View on RBI Policy Decision
Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS told CNBC-TV18 that it was a mistake by RBI not to raise interest rates in the October policy.
"We are in a global tightening environment and India does not live in a vacuum. The US Fed is raising rates, emerging markets are raising rates, it puts onus on the RBI to follow the trend," he said.
He further said the issue number 2 is that given where demand and prices are, it makes sense for the RBI to remain on hiking trend. "The fact that rupee has sold-off so much it doesn’t help that the central bank has taken a pause today."
Market Update
The market is not showing any sign of recovery as it has been falling sharply for third consecutive session.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 465.99 points or 1.32 percent to 34,703.17, taking total fall to more than 4,000 points from its record high touched on August 28.
The 50-share NSE Nifty fell 185.20 points or 1.75 percent to 10,414.10.
RBI Considers Several Factors for Inflation Outlook
First, food inflation has remained unusually benign, which imparts a downward bias to its trajectory in the second half of the year. Inflation in key food items such as pulses, edible oils, sugar, fruits and vegetables remains exceptionally soft at this juncture. The risk to food inflation from spatially and temporally uneven rainfall is also mitigated, as confirmed by the first advance estimates that have placed production of major kharif crops for 2018-19 higher than last year’s record. An estimate of the impact of an increase in minimum support prices (MSPs) announced in July has been factored in the baseline projections.
Secondly, the price of the Indian basket of crude oil has increased sharply, by $13 a barrel, since the last resolution.
Thirdly, international financial markets remained volatile with EME currencies depreciating significantly.
Finally, the HRA effect came off its peak in June and is dissipating gradually on expected lines.
The central bank said GDP growth projection for 2018-19 is retained at 7.4 percent as in the August resolution (7.4 percent in Q2 and 7.1-7.3 percent in H2), with risks broadly balanced; the path in the August resolution was 7.5 percent in Q2FY19 and 7.3-7.4 percent in H2.
"GDP growth for Q1FY20 is now projected marginally lower at 7.4 percent as against 7.5 percent in the August resolution, mainly due to the strong base effect (Chart 2), it added.
Inflation and GDP Growth Projections : 
RBI said inflation is projected at 4.0 percent in Q2FY19, 3.9-4.5 percent in second half of FY19 and 4.8 percent in first half of FY20, with risks somewhat to the upside (Chart 1). Excluding the HRA impact, CPI inflation is projected at 3.7 percent in Q2FY19, 3.8-4.5 percent in second half of FY19 and 4.8 percent in Q1FY20, it added. 
Market Update:
Benchmark indices recovered a bit from day's low amid volatility. The Sensex fell 343.37 points or 0.98 percent to 34,825.79 and the Nifty slipped 148.10 points or 1.40 percent to 10,451.20.
About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.
Minutes of Meeting and Next Meeting
RBI said the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee's meeting will be published by October 19, 2018.
The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled from December 3 to 5, 2018.
Regarding the RBI Stance
Dr Pami Dua, Dr Chetan Ghate, Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, Dr Viral V Acharya and Dr Urjit R Patel voted in favour of changing the stance to calibrated tightening.
Dr Ravindra H Dholakia voted to keep the neutral stance unchanged.
Five Members Voted in Favour of Holding Repo Rate
Regarding the policy repo rate, Dr Pami Dua, Dr Ravindra H. Dholakia, Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, Dr Viral V Acharya and Dr Urjit R. Patel voted in favour of keeping the policy repo rate unchanged.
Only Dr Chetan Ghate voted for an increase in the policy rate by 25 bps. 
Reverse Repo Rate
RBI said the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.25 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75 percent.
The decision of the MPC is consistent with the stance of calibrated tightening of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth, it added. 
Market Update:
Benchmark indices extended losses after the Monetary Policy Committee kept repo rate unchanged.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 592.52 points or 1.68 percent at 34,576.64 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 213.40 points or 2.01 percent to 10,385.90.
The Rupee also hit fresh record low of 74 against the US dollar.
Market Outlook
Gautam Duggad, Head of Research- Institutional Equities at Motilal Oswal Financial Services said the market correction is largely driven by macro concerns around rising crude prices and depreciating currency and consequent deleterious impact for twin deficits.
Rising bond yields and concerns around liquidity tightening is also keeping the markets anxious, he feels.
He said valuations, while off from the recent highs, are still rich, especially for mid-caps. "We continue to prefer large-caps over midcaps. Correction, nonetheless, offers a good opportunity to accumulate high quality stocks with earnings visibility from a three year perspective."
UBS on ICICI Bank: Research house maintained buy and raised target to Rs 440 from Rs 410 per share.
According to UBS Kochhar’s exit is positive for the bank as stakeholders will focus on core banking business. Also, loan book clean-up should contribute to improvement in earnings.
Core banking business and retail franchise key to our buy thesis, it added.
Market Outlook
Sridhar Sivaram, Investment Director of Enam Holdings told CNBC-TV18 in an interview that the crude is expected to stay negative for India and on top of it US interest rates are going up. In such case, emerging markets (EM) generally underperform.
Emerging markets have been down 12-13 percent and Indian markets have fallen 15 percent in dollar terms in more than a month now. "Overall EMs are in a tough spot right now. Look at 2013 data where EMs had faced a similar situation and then came back in growth in 2014-15," he said.
He further said, "Interest rate is going up but global growth is also inching higher, so look at the US and China both are growing. Emerging markets in select pockets are also growing but at a slow pace because of reset of currencies and market movement."
Currently, he said he would be a buyer. "If one remembers, in 2013 also we faced a similar situation where crude was at $80 a barrel, currencies falling, people worried about state elections and growth."
Speaking on the outlook in the coming days, he said currently there are many opportunities which are looking interesting. One can consider companies that have good earnings potential and high cash levels on books, as prices have significantly corrected.
"I would do staggered buying for over a month or two as stocks have the potential to make smart money after 12-18 months despite election noise."
Market Update:
Benchmark indices extended losses in afternoon with the Sensex falling 503.80 points or 1.43 percent to 34,665.36. The Nifty plunged 191.50 points or 1.81 percent to 10,407.80. About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.
Shares of energy companies such as oil marketers fell sharply, a day after the government announced a cut in fuel prices.
The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) policy decision due later in the day also added to the cautious undertone, with the market expecting an interest rate hike to prop up the rupee, which has weakened 15.2 percent against the dollar this year and is trading near an all-time low of 73.82 touched on Thursday.
Over two-thirds of 61 economists said in a Reuters poll the RBI would lift the repo rate at least once by the end of 2018, with over half stating that there would be a 25 basis points rise in October.
"In general, what's driving emerging market weakness is a stronger US economy ... there is a lack of clarity on the effectiveness of rate hikes as a currency defence," said Sunil Sharma, chief investment officer with Sanctum Wealth Management.
Steel Strip Wheels Wins Order:
SSWL has bagged a new exports order from OPEL Spain (Group PSA Company) for steel wheels. Order comprises of more than 6,50,000 wheels to be shipped in period of 6 years starting October 2019. Total order value is over 6 million euro.
"This order will help SSWL to further strengthen its position as a preferred supplier in the PSA Group. SSWL has been in strong business relationship with PSA since last 9 years and this new nomination only reflects their level of trust in SSWL's capabilities. This business will also support SSWL to grow its presence in the challenging EU Steel wheels market," the company said.
FII View: Christopher Wood of CLSA said
The bond sell-off is potentially of enormous significance since the breaking of a trend line of declining Treasury bond yields in place since 1981 is, on the face of it, marking the end of an extremely benign era for financial assets.
The renewed steepening of the US yield curve also raises the potential for a greater number of Fed rate hikes than currently envisaged by the markets. That in turn raises the probability of more casualties in Asia and emerging markets from the current Fed tightening cycle.
In terms of stock level changes, the investment in Geely in the Asia ex-Japan long-only portfolio will be removed, while the investments in CNOOC, Reliance Industries, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Gruh Finance and Godrej Properties will be increased by 1 percent each. Source: CNBC-TV18
Unilever Withdraws Proposal To Move To Netherlands
The board of Unilever on scrapped its plan to move its headquarters to the Netherlands in the face of growing opposition from UK investors.
The withdrawal means that for now, Britain gets to keep one of its most valuable companies as it moves closer to Brexit. It is also a victory for UK shareholders, big and small, who had spoken out against the move, which would have kicked the company out of the benchmark FTSE 100 index.
So far, shareholders representing about 12 percent of the shares had publicly opposed the move.
Their main practical concerns were around the forced selling of their shares with no premium, uncertainty around the future tax treatment of Dutch dividends and a perception that the move was in part aimed at securing the greater takeover protections under Dutch law. Source: Reuters.
Goa Carbon Q2 Earnings:
Goa Carbon has posted net loss of Rs 1.3 crore for the quarter ended September 2018 as plants were shut in Q2 due to absence of export & domestic orders.
The company had reported profit at Rs 13.7 crore in same period last year.
Dixon Technologies Rises 4% after Co Starts Manufacturing of Mi LED TVs For Xiaomi
Shares of Dixon Technologies rose 4.4 percent intraday as company commenced manufacturing of Mi LED TVs for Xiaomi in Andhra Pradesh.
Dixon Technologies (India) and Xiaomi India has entered into agreement for manufacturing of LED TVs for Xiaomi.
Dixon shall be manufacturing Mi TVs for Xiaomi from its facility located at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh where it has recently commenced production of Liquid Crystal module (LCM) Line under Central Government’s flagship programme Make in India and such LCM line provides overall cost efficiency to Dixon’s elite allies.
Dixon Technologies has commenced its local production of Mi LED TVs with Mi LED Smart TV 4A 80cm (32”) and Mi LED Smart TV 4A 180cm (43”) for now.
Market Update:
Benchmark indices extended losses ahead of Monetary Policy Committee's interest rate decision due later in the day. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 400.76 points or 1.14 percent to 34,768.40, dragged by oil, metals and FMCG stocks.
The 50-share NSE Nifty shed 158.60 points or 1.50 percent to 10,440.70. About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.
HPCL (down 22.59 percent), BPCL (17.98 percent), IOC (14.61 percent), ONGC (13.98 percent) and GAIL (8.57 percent) were top losers among Nifty50 stocks.
Top gainers on the Nifty were Titan Company (4.34 percent), Indiabulls Housing Finance (2.57 percent), IndusInd Bank (1.31 percent), Bharti Infratel (1.31 percent) and Infosys (1.10 percent).
Dilip Buildcon bags orders: The company has received Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for Bhopal and Indore Metro Rail project, Phase -I, valued at Rs 247.06 crore and Rs 228.96 crore respectively by the Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Co, Urban Administration and Development Department, Bhopal (M.P).
Market Update: Benchmark indices pared some of its morning losses with Sensex trading above 34,800, while Nifty is trading around 10,450 level.
Titan Company, Indiabulls Housing, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Infratel and Sun Pharma are the top gainers on the Nifty. 
Reliance Capital get IRDAI approval: Reliance Health Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital, has received R3 approval from IRDAI for its new health insurance business. 
The new company will commence operations by the December quarter of 2018. 
Buzzing:  Shares of Steel Strips Wheels rose 1.6 percent after company bagged an order worth over Euro 6 million.
The company has bagged a new exports order from OPEL Spain (Group PSA Company) for Steel wheels.
The said order includes more than 6,50,000 wheels to be shipped in period of 6 years starting October 2019.
Rupee Outlook
Bhaskar Panda of HDFC Bank said emerging markets are still under pressure due to rising US yields, risk aversion and trade tensions.
In India, the latest bout of Rupee depreciation met with some government responses, he feels.
"The measures announced will have impact in taking away some demand from the market in the long term. Given this background, I expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 73.70-74 per dollar for today," he said. Source: CNBC-TV18
Cupid Outperforms
Shares of Cupid rose 5.4 percent intraday as company is going to consider the allotment of bonus shares.
A meeting of the board of directors of the company is scheduled to be held on October 13, 2018 to consider the allotment of bonus shares in ratio of 1 bonus equity share for every 5 existing equity share of Rs 10 each pursuant to shareholders approval received at 25th annual general meeting held on September 28, 2018 and to discuss other business matters with the permission of chairperson.
The company has fixed October 12, 2018 as the record date for the purpose of determining members eligible for bonus equity shares of the company.
The bonus issue of equity shares will be issued out of the securities premium account and free reserves created out of profits, available as at March 31, 2018.
Expectations on Monetary Policy Committee's Rate Decision
Samiran Chakraborty of Citi said from the time of October monetary policy preview note, oil prices have moved up $5 per barrel, US yields have inched up 15 bps and INR has depreciated 1.5 percent.
On the other hand, liquidity situation has improved with lesser stress on the shadow banking system, he added.
"The combination of these developments reinforces our view of a 25 bps rate hike along with a change in stance. In fact, on the margin, it increases the chances of a stronger policy action through a 50 bps rate hike to restore market confidence on macro stability," he said. Source: CNBC-TV18
What Should Investors Do With ICICI Bank? Buy, Sell or Hold
Macquarie and UBS maintained their outperform and buy rating, respectively, on ICICI Bank after the bank board approved MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar's early retirement.
Kochhar had led ICICI Bank since 2009 and her third term was due to end in March 2019. Sandeep Bakhshi, who was appointed the bank's COO in June, will succeed Kochhar, ICICI Bank said in a release.
Most experts feel that resignation of Chanda Kochhar removed the uncertainty from the stock and is largely positive for the bank and the business.
UBS maintained a buy rating on ICICI Bank but raised its target price to Rs 440 from Rs 410 earlier which means an upside of nearly 40 percent from Thursday’s closing price of Rs 316.50.
Market Outlook
Sakthi Siva of Credit Suisse said while investors have been wanting to hide in domestic markets to escape the US-China trade war, she has been highlighting the potential downside risk to forex particularly in countries running current account deficits.
She re-iterated Underweight calls on India, Australia and the Philippines. Source: CNBC-TV18.
Cadila Healthcare gets EIR from USFDA for Ahmedabad unit
Shares of Cadila Healthcare rose nearly 2 percent in the early trade after company received EIR from USFDA for its Ahmedabad unit.
The company's Biologics manufacturing facility (Zydus Biologics) located at the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad has received an EIR (Establishment Inspection Report) from the USFDA signifying the successful closure of the audit.
The plant had completed the USFDA audit from August 14 to 24, 2018 with Zero 483 observations.
Zydus has received USFDA nod for breast cancer drug, Exemestane Tablet (25 Mg), reported CNBC-TV18.
Market Update
Benchmark indices turned volatile ahead of Monetary Policy Committee's interest rate decision due afternoon.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 175.98 points to 34,993.18 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 100.60 points to 10,498.70.
Motilal Oswal's Auto Earnings Estimates for Q2FY119
Timing difference in festive season would influence volume growth momentum in 2QFY19. However, healthy volume growth momentum continued in 2QFY19 in 2Ws (+9 percent), 3Ws (+35 percent) and CVs (27 percent). PVs (including UVs) took a breather in 2QFY19, with a volume decline of 2 percent, impacted by Kerala floods and rising fuel and financing costs.
EBITDA margin for our OEM (ex-JLR) universe is likely to contract by 110 bp YoY (-40 bp QoQ to 13.6 percent) after four consecutive quarter of margin expansion, impacted by high commodity costs, weak INR and heightened competitive intensity in 2Ws. The base quarter of 2QFY18 witnessed one of the highest EBITDA margins in over 12 years.
We have lowered our FY19/20E EPS estimates for MSIL (by 11 percent/13 percent), TTMT (35 percent/13 percent), ESC (7 percent/13 percent), EIM (3 percent/7 percent), and HMCL (7 percent/6 percent). We have raised our FY19/20E estimates for BJAUT by 3 percent/11 percent.
OMCs under pressure:  Shares of oil marketing companies tumbled more than 28 percent on the early trade on Friday after government cut excise on petrol and diesel.
The Centre will bear the burden of Rs 1.50 per litre, while oil marketing companies (OMCs) will absorb another Re 1 in cost, bringing the total benefit to consumers to Rs 2.50, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
A reduction in taxes from the Centre and the states could mean a relief by as much as Rs 5 per litre to consumers.
ICICI Securities on PSU Oil Companies
The government has announced Rs 2.5 per litre reduction in petrol and diesel prices to lower the burden on customers due to rising crude oil prices. The central excise duty has been cut by Rs 1.5 per litre while oil marketing companies (OMCs) have been asked to absorb a cut of Rs 1 per litre.
This move by the government will have a substantial impact on the profitability of OMCs with BPCL and HPCL profits declining around 28 percent and around 39 percent, respectively on an annual basis.
The current action by the government has put a question mark on the free pricing mechanism for petrol and diesel by OMCs. This move will create a lot of uncertainty in future with regard to OMC’s profitability especially during times of high crude oil prices and elections.
Hence, we cut our earnings multiples of OMCs and remain cautious on them given the high volatility in crude oil prices and due to upcoming elections.
Market Opening:
Benchmark indices opened sharply lower on Friday morning after the government move raised fear of subsidy burden on PSU oil companies.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 228.38 points or 0.65 percent at 34,940.78 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 113.90 points or 1.07 percent to 10,485.40.
GAIL cracked 10 percent and ONGC plunged 12 percent. MRPL was down 10 percent. HPCL, BPCL and IOC crashed another 20-25 percent on government move.
Tech Mahindra, Hindalco, Reliance Industries and TCS were down 2-4 percent, but Infosys was up a percent.
Titan Company, IDBI Bank and IL&FS Investment Managers were gainers.
CLSA on Oil Marketing Companies
Global brokerage house CLSA has maintained Sell rating on IOC, HPCL and BPCL after the government cut excise duty by Rs 1.5 per litre and asked oil retailers to absorb Re 1 per litre with respect to petrol and diesel prices.
It slashed target price for IOC to to Rs 105 from Rs 155, BPCL to Rs 240 from Rs 390 and HPCL to Rs 150 from Rs 270.
Government's move will bring down the EPS by 23-46 percent and raise fears of return of subsidy regime if crude spikes further in upcoming elections, the research house reasoned.
ONGC and Gail may also be impacted but these already build-in risk, CLSA feels.
Rupee Trade
The Indian rupee opened lower at 73.65 per dollar on Friday against previous close of 73.58.
Yesterday rupee touched record low of 73.81 per dollar before ending down 24 paise.
Market Outlook
ICICI Securities feels Indian markets are expected to open negative on the back of weak global cues. The key monitorable for the near term includes RBI monetary policy meet outcome today and crude, currency levels.
Domestic markets witnessed a free fall yesterday ending over 2 percent lower led by rising US treasury yields, rising oil prices along with a weakening rupee. US markets ended in the negative territory led by an increase in US treasury yields.
Crude Update: Oil prices rose on Friday, lifted by looming US sanctions against Iran's crude exports that are set to start next month.
The gains helped claw back some of the losses from the previous session due to rising US inventories and after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they would raise output to at least partly make up for expected disruptions from Iran.
International benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at USD 84.94 per barrel, up 36 cents, or 0.4 percent from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, at USD 77.74 a barrel.
Asian markets trade weak in early trade: Asian shares were fragile on Friday after benchmark US Treasury yields surged to a seven-year high and strong economic data fanned concerns about inflation and the risk of faster-than-expected interest rate rises, reported Reuters.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.5 percent and Australian benchmark was up just 0.1 percent.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year note hit a fresh seven-year high of 3.232 percent overnight following data released the previous day that was seen as increasing the odds a Friday payrolls report would also be stronger than expected.
Wall Street ends lower: Wall Street stocks stumbled on Thursday as US Treasury yields continued their ascent to multi-year highs on the latest round of strong economic data, building concerns for an acceleration of inflation, reported Reuters.
The Dow suffered its first decline in six sessions, while both the S&P and Nasdaq had their worst day since June 25.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 200.91 points, or 0.75 percent, to 26,627.48, the S&P 500 lost 23.9 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,901.61 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 145.58 points, or 1.81 percent, to 7,879.5.