Equities gain marginally, global cues weigh heavy (Market Review)

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Equities gain marginally, global cues weigh heavy (Market Review)

Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) Despite healthy inflow of foreign funds and a strong rupee, the key Indian indices made marginal gains during the just-concluded trade week, as global geo-political tensions and the Reserve Bank of India’s status quo on interest rates in its first bi-monthly monetary policy review of fiscal 2017-18 hampered their upward movement.

However, even as the Indian equity markets closed with marginal gains, the benchmark indices touched record intra-day highs and closing highs during the week.

On April 5, the BSE Sensex touched a new closing high of 29,974.24 points, after it touched a new 52-week high of 30,007.48 points. Similarly, the NSE Nifty touched a new 52-week intra-day high of 9,273.90 points and a new closing high of 9,265.15 points.

During the week ended April 7, the Sensex rose by just 86.11 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 29,706.61 points, while the wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty closed at 9,198.30 points — up 24.55 points or 0.27 per cent.

“In line with overall positive sentiment in the market aided by the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill and the strengthened position of government after the assembly elections, markets continued to move higher this week before correcting from a high of 9,273,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The mid-cap and small-cap indices outperformed. Market breadth was positive in three out of the four trading sessions of the week.”

Vijay Singhania, founder and Director of brokerage firm Trade Smart Online, said: “The rally fizzled out in the last two trading sessions of the week after the minutes of the US Fed’s last policy review induced weakness in global equities and back home, RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent in its first policy review of the financial year 2018.”

“Although RBI’s decision to hold rates was mostly factored in, the market reacted negatively, tracking weak global cues. Markets were spooked by the US’ launch of cruise missiles against an air base in Syria, raising the risk of confrontation with Syrian backers Russia and Iran.”

Singhania pointed out that unabated foreign inflows (of Rs 39,000 crore — $6 billion — since the start of 2017) lifted the Indian rupee to its best first-quarter performance.

During the week, the Indian rupee appreciated by 56 paise to 64.29 against a US dollar from last week’s close of 64.85.

In terms of investments during the week ended April 7, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that FIIs purchased stocks worth Rs 754.89 crore during the week, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 48.54 crore.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) disclosed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought equities worth Rs 4,995.46 crore, or $769.96 million, during April 3-7.

“Sentiments got some support after government exceeded the tax collection estimates for 2016-17 fiscal at Rs 17.10 lakh crore, indicating that it should be able to meet the fiscal deficit target for the year, and after the RBI projected India’s growth to strengthen to 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 from 6.7 per cent in 2016-17,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

“Some support also came after the country’s services sector registered second straight month of growth in March, driven by strong rise in new work orders amid softer inflationary pressures.”

Macro-economic data released during the week showed that India’s services sector continued its recovery for the second successive month in March as the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 51.5 in March. The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI — which measures India’s manufacturing activity — rose to 52.5 in March from 50.7 in February.

“Sectorally, the top gainers were the capital goods, cement and metal indices. The top losers were the media, realty, banking and pharma indices,” Jasani added

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Reliance Industries (up 10.73 per cent at Rs 1,405.55), Larsen and Toubro (LT) (up 8.27 per cent at Rs 1,686.50), Maruti Suzuki (up 5.21 per cent at Rs 6,263.95), Tata Steel (up 3.08 per cent at Rs 492.90) and NTPC (up 2.66 per cent at Rs 167.70).

The losers were: Infosys (down 4.22 per cent at Rs 981.25), ITC (down 3.49 per cent at Rs 272.75), Sun Pharma (down 3.13 per cent at Rs 665.65), HDFC (down 2.64 per cent at Rs 1,480.70), and Lupin (down 2.60 per cent at Rs 1,410.35).

(Porisma P. Gogoi can be contacted at porisma.g@ians.in)

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.