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NSE Intra-day chart (17 November 2020)
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Market Commentary 18 November 2020
Markets likely to get cautious start amid mixed Asian cues


The bulls continued to maintain their firm grip on Tuesday as Indian equity benchmarks gained over 0.70 percent each to settle at record closing highs, led by positive sentiments in the broader Asian markets. Markets made optimistic start and traded in green terrain for whole day, as investor sentiment was bolstered by news that US drug maker Moderna's coronavirus vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. Sentiments also got a boost with a private report that the Indian economy is seen recovering faster than expected and the Reserve Bank is likely to have come to an end of the rate easing cycle. However, in late morning session, key gauges erased some of their initial gains with government data showing that India's exports fell 5.12 per cent to $24.89 billion in October, after recording positive growth in September, on account of drop in shipments of petroleum products, gems and jewellery, leather and engineering goods. Besides, trade deficit in October narrowed to $8.71 billion as against $11.75 billion in the corresponding month a year ago. Also, the wholesale price-based inflation rose to an eight-month high of 1.48 percent in October, as manufactured products turned costlier. The WPI inflation was 1.32 percent in September and zero percent in October last year. But, domestic indices regained upward momentum in second half of the trading session, taking support from Chairman Supratim Bandyopadhyay's statement that pension fund regulator PFRDA will propose to the government to make employers' contribution of 14 per cent under NPS tax free for all categories of subscribers in the next Budget. Employers' contribution of 14 per cent in pension under the National Pension System (NPS) scheme for the central government employees was made tax free from April 1, 2019. Some support also came after Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have invested a massive Rs 35,109 crore in Indian markets in November so far as corporate earnings and reforms measures undertaken by the government to revive investment activities. Market participants also took a note of Fitch Solutions' report that India's third tranche of stimulus measures (Stimulus 3.0) should support economic rebound over the coming quarters but the actual fiscal impact is difficult to ascertain. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 314.73 points or 0.72% to 43,952.71, while the CNX Nifty was up by 93.95 points or 0.74% to 12,874.20.


The US markets ended in red on Tuesday on profit taking after the strength seen in the previous session lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs. Further, sentiments were down on account of rising coronavirus cases. Data from John Hopkins University showed more than 166,000 news coronavirus cases on Monday, with the total number of cases in the US now exceeding 11 million. Negative sentiment was also generated in reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing retail sales rose by less than expected in the month of October. The report said retail sales rose by 0.3 percent in October after jumping by a downwardly revised 1.6 percent in September. Street had expected retail sales to climb by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.9 percent spike originally reported for the previous month. Excluding an increase in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales edged up by 0.2 percent in October after surging up by 1.2 percent in September. Ex-auto sales were expected to increase by 0.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released a separate report showing a significant rebound in US industrial production in the month of October. The Fed said industrial production jumped by 1.1 percent in October after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in September. Street had expected production to surge up by 1.0 percent compared to the 0.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.


Crude oil futures ended marginally higher on Tuesday as traders looked ahead to weekly inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute and Energy Information Administration. However, gains remained capped as surging coronavirus cases outweighed encouraging developments on the vaccine front. According to reports from across the globe, Covid-19 cases continue to surge. Sweden is reportedly moving to restrict the size of public gatherings after a spike in new coronavirus cases. Crude oil futures for December gained 9 cents or about 0.2 percent to settle at $41.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, January Brent crude fell 7 cents or 0.2 percent to settle at $43.75 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended substantially stronger on fresh selling of American currency by banks and exporters. Besides, healthy growth in the domestic equity market and dollar weakness against other currencies overseas added to the rupee gains. Sentiments were perked up with a private report that the Indian economy is seen recovering faster than expected and the Reserve Bank is likely to have come to an end of the rate easing cycle. Traders shrugged off report that India's merchandise exports fell 5.12 percent to $24.89 billion in October 2020 as compared to same period of last year, after recording positive growth in September, on account of drop in shipments of petroleum products, gems and jewellery, leather and engineering goods. On the global front, Sterling edged higher against the dollar and steadied versus the euro on Tuesday as traders awaited news on the progress of trade talks between Britain and the European Union. Finally, the rupee ended at 74.46, 16 paise stronger from its previous close of 74.62 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Tuesday's data were net buyer in equity segment and net seller in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9270.74 crore against gross selling of Rs 7539.80 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 394.67 crore with gross sales of Rs 399.11 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 10.97 crore against gross selling of Rs 22.32 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Tuesday as retail sales data disappointed and more states imposed restrictions to tamp down an unrelenting surge in Covid-19 cases. Asian markets are trading mixed on Wednesday, investors remained cautious as coronavirus cases continued to surge despite vaccine hopes. Indian markets ended at record closing highs on Tuesday after a long weekend, following gains in Asian peers, as news of another promising coronavirus vaccine lifted hopes. Today, the markets are likely to make a cautious start as investors remain concerned about rising cases of coronavirus worldwide amid mixed Asian cues. Traders will be concerned as India reported 38,532 fresh Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The total caseload now stands at 8,912,704. The country's death toll has mounted to 131,031. Delhi recorded 6,396 fresh Covid-19 cases taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 495,000 on Tuesday. However, some respite may come later in the day after private report upgraded its India GDP forecast to a contraction of 10.3 per cent in FY21, as against its earlier estimate of a negative growth of 14.8 per cent. The US-based firm said developments on the vaccine front -- where two candidates have posted satisfactory progress -- will be very helpful in the recovery. Traders may take note of report that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to attract foreign investment to modernize India's urban centers as the world's second-most-populous nation rebuilds its economy after the coronavirus pandemic halted activity. There will be some buzz in sugar stocks as industry body ISMA said sugar production in India, the world's second-largest producer of the sweetener, surged nearly three-folds to 14.10 lakh tonnes in the 2020-21 season so far due to better crop output and timely commencement of the crushing operation. There will be some reaction in oil & gas sector companies stocks after India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked exploration companies to consider farming out their acreages to global players with advanced technology to expedite development and raise oil and gas output. Banking stocks will be in focus after the central government put Lakshmi Vilas Bank under moratorium till December 16, 2020. That said, the RBI proposed to merge LVB with the India subsidiary of Singapore's DBS Bank. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the interest waiver case later today. There will be some earnings announcements too to keep the markets buzzing.


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