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NSE Intra-day chart (06 March 2019)
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Market Commentary 07 March 2019
Markets to make a cautious start amid weak global cues


Bulls held onto gains for third straight session on Wednesday, with key Indian equity benchmarks closing the day with gains of over half a percent. Markets made a cheerful start, aided by the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) statement that it would infuse Rs 12,500 crore into the financial system on March 07, 2019. The purchase will be made through open market operations (OMOs). The market participants remained optimistic with the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley's statement that the Government is committed to facilitate trade and industry in the country so that the momentum of the growth continues to move-up. He also said that the process of reforms in case of direct and indirect taxes will continue in order to facilitate and further expedite the process of ease of doing business in the country. Adding some comfort, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said that the US decision to withdraw duty benefits on Indian products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme will not have a significant impact on exports to America. Key indices kept their heads in positive territory during the whole day, amid reports that the government introduced a scheme for providing financial assistance for transport and marketing of agriculture products with a view to boosting export of farm commodities to certain countries in Europe and North America. Traders took support with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) President Sandip Somany's statement that the government has promised to lower corporate tax rate to 25% for all companies once Goods and Services Tax (GST) mop-up improves. Investors paid no heed towards the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy's (CMIE) latest report showing that the unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9% in February 2018. The unemployment rate has climbed despite a fall in the number of job seekers. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 193.56 points or 0.53% to 36,636.10, while the CNX Nifty was up by 65.55 points or 0.60% to 11,053.00.


The US markets ended lower on Wednesday after a US think tank said analysis of new satellite images of activity at a North Korean long-range rocket site suggests Pyongyang may be rapidly rebuilding the test facility that it pledged to dismantle. The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the images were taken two days after the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without an agreement late last month. The two leaders cut short their discussions after Kim's request for a full withdrawal of sanctions in return for the communist country's willingness to abandon nuclear weapons was rejected. Further, traders also reacted negatively to a report from payroll processor ADP showing US private sector job growth slowed in February after an upwardly revised spike in January. ADP said private sector employment increased by 183,000 jobs in February after soaring by an upwardly revised 300,000 jobs in January. Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed the US trade deficit widened by more than anticipated in December, as imports jumped and exports slumped. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $59.8 billion in December from a revised $50.3 billion in November. Street had expected the deficit to widen to $57.9 billion. The substantial monthly increase drove the US trade deficit to its highest level since reaching $60.2 billion in October of 2008. The trade deficit for 2018 was also the biggest since 2008, widening to $621.0 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017 as Trump ramped up his trade war with China. Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 133.17 points or 0.52 percent to 25673.46, S&P 500 declined 18.20 points or 0.65 percent to 2771.45 and Nasdaq was down by 70.44 points or 0.93 percent to 7505.92.


Crude oil futures ended lower on Wednesday following a hefty weekly rise in domestic crude inventory. The Energy Information Administration reported that US crude supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels for the week ended March 01. That was well above the average climb of 1.9 million barrels expected by S&P Global Platts, but just under the 7.3 million barrel increase reported by the American Petroleum Institute data on March 05. Though, the drop in gasoline supplies helped to offset pressure on crude-oil prices - keeping them off their lows of the session. Supplies of gasoline fell by 4.2 million barrels, while distillates edged down by 2.4 million barrels last week. Benchmark crude oil futures for April declined 34 cents or 0.6 percent to settle at $56.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, May Brent crude gained 13 cents or 0.2 percent to settle at $65.99 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee wiped out losses it incurred during the session and ended higher against the American currency on Wednesday, due to increased selling of the American currency by exporters and banks. This was the second consecutive sessions when the rupee closed higher. The market participants remained optimistic with the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley's statement that the Government is committed to facilitate trade and industry in the country so that the momentum of the growth continues to move-up. Investors paid no heed towards the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy's (CMIE) latest report showing that the unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, and up from 5.9% in February 2018. The rupee's rise was also aided by falling crude oil prices along with positive trend in equity market. On the global front, dollar held gains against its peers on Wednesday, thanks to higher US yields and better-than-expected data. Finally, the rupee ended at 70.28, 21 paise stronger from its previous close of 70.49 on Tuesday.


The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net sellers in equity and debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5556.03 crore against gross selling of Rs 7425.59 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1693.31 crore with gross sales of Rs 2046.36 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5.26 crore against gross selling of Rs 6.71 crore.


The US markets ended in red territory on Wednesday as investors stayed on the sidelines, awaiting fresh developments on trade. Asian markets are trading mostly lower on Thursday as global growth concerns resurfaced and investors also awaited some kind of resolution to Sino-US trade negotiations. Extending northward journey for third straight session, Indian markets ended higher with gains for over half a percent on Wednesday on sustained buying mainly in finance, energy and metal counters. Today, the markets are likely to make a cautious start, tracking weak cues from global markets amid growth concerns. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has lowered its 2019 forecast for global economic growth to 3.3 per cent for this year, down from the 3.5 per cent it predicted in November, which was itself a downgrade from a previous 3.7 per cent. It added that high policy uncertainty, ongoing trade tensions, and a further erosion of business and consumer confidence are all contributing to the slowdown. On the domestic front, traders will be cautious with a private report stating that the likelihood of Indian GDP growth coming at below 7 per cent in 2019-20 is very high despite aiding factors like low oil prices and an expansionary budget. It added that global slowdown, tight financial conditions and political uncertainty in the election year will be the biggest headwinds for growth. However, traders may get some support later in the day with report that the income tax (I-T) department has notified the modified norms for startups to enable them to seek angel tax exemption for investments of up to Rs 25 crore. The modified norms, which are aimed at encouraging budding entrepreneurs, will be effective retrospectively from February 19, when the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) relaxed the norms for startups. Meanwhile, India is exploring various options, including approaching the WTO dispute body, to deal with the US decision to withdraw import incentives for about 2,000 domestic goods under the trade preference scheme. There will be some reaction in wind energy sector stocks with Crisil Research's report that the country's wind energy sector is likely to see a slow growth with regard to capacity addition over the next five years. It added that the shift to a competitive bidding mechanism has slowed industry growth due to a significant fall in tariffs, triggering a decline in both bid response and profitability for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).


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