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NSE Intra-day chart (25 May 2017)
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Market Commentary 26 May 2017
Markets to make a modestly positive start of new F&O series

The May series futures and options expiry session turned out to be a action-packed event for the Indian equity indices, as they staged a smart intraday rally and even went ahead to conquer the psychological 9,500 (Nifty) and 30,700 (Sensex) levels. Investors continued to build hefty positions across the board as sentiments got a boost after Cabinet approved dismantling of the two-decade-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and defined a new mechanism to approve overseas investment applications and hasten fund flows. The move will avoid the need for multiple clearances. It also approved the much-awaited strategic partnership policy for defence manufacturing and a new government procurement policy that will give preference to local goods. Besides, fresh spell of buying by foreign investors who were net sellers for several sessions, further recovery in the rupee, and roll over of position in F&O market, also contributed to the gains. The markets paid no heed to the industry body Assocham's statement that implementing GST from July 1 will be a challenge for the industry and the government should consider relaxing penal provisions for a couple of quarters to help it comply with the new tax regime. Meanwhile, Pharmaceutical stocks have continued their downfall, posting losses for the second consecutive session. In scrip specific development, Lupin hogged the limelight with the stock hitting its lowest level since August 2014 after the company's quarterly net profit nearly halved to Rs 380 crore in March quarter (Q4FY17) from a year ago. On the other hand, shares of private sector banks were in focus with Nifty Bank and Nifty Private Sector Bank indices hitting their respective record highs after a strong run-up in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, YES Bank and IndusInd Bank. Finally, the BSE Sensex gained 448.39 points or 1.48% to 30750.03, while the CNX Nifty was up by 149.20 points or 1.59% to 9,509.75.


The US markets advancing for a sixth straight session closed higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closing at fresh record high. The FOMC minutes yesterday indicated that members were in agreement on a slow and deliberate approach to unwinding the massive balance sheet built up as part of the Federal Reserve's quantitative-easing program. The gains were also underpinned by robust earnings. On the economy front, the number of Americans applying for and receiving unemployment benefits continue to drop to levels last seen nearly a half century ago, a sign the US labor market remains quite robust eight years into an economic expansion. Initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the seven days stretching from May 14 to May 20. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, fell by 5,750 to 235,250 - the lowest level since April 1973. Initial claims count people who apply for benefits after losing their jobs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70.53 points or 0.34 percent to 21,082.95, Nasdaq added 42.24 points or 0.69 percent to 6,205.26, while S&P 500 edged higher by 10.68 points or 0.44 percent to 2,415.07.


Crude oil futures slumped on Thursday despite news that OPEC has agreed to extend its supply quota plan. OPEC agreed to keep its own cuts of around 1.2 million barrels per day in place for nine months. However, Nigeria and Libya will remain exempt from making cuts. The OPEC's plan failed to meet traders' expectations that the cartel group would announce deeper cuts. The nine-month extension was widely anticipated but traders were hopeful that OPEC would take a more aggressive approach to curb oversupply with deeper cuts, in the wake of a rise in non-OPEC output. OPEC also announced that no new non-OPEC members will join the global deal to reduce supply and it would adhere to the production cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day agreed in late November. Benchmark crude oil futures for June delivery ended lower by $2.46 or 4.8 percent to $48.90 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for July delivery ended down by 4.1 percent to $51.35 on the ICE.


Indian rupee ended stronger against dollar for the second straight day on Thursday, on increased selling of the US currency by exporters and banks amid higher foreign fund inflows. Sentiments remained positive with the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) statement that the government's move to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will boost FDI inflows into the country. The gains in Asian peers after US Federal Reserve minutes signalled a moderate pace in rate hikes also boosted the sentiment for the rupee. Furthermore, good going in the local equity markets too supported the domestic unit. On the global front, pound weakened against other major currencies on Thursday, after data showed that the UK economy expanded less than previously estimated in the first quarter. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.61, 12 paise stronger from its previous close of 64.73 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net buyers in equity and debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5950.18 crore against gross selling of Rs 5591.42 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1700.79 crore with gross sales of Rs 1687.50 crore.


The US markets continued their upmove, extending their recent winning streak to six sessions, on getting upbeat earnings news from some big-name retailers and responding positively to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting. The Asian markets have made a mixed start and some of the indices in the region are in red, heading for a lower finish for the week. Slump in crude oil prices have weighed heavily on the energy stocks. The Indian markets rallied in the last session, snapping the May F&O series on a high note, fuelled by government's reform agenda and short covering the benchmarks closed at fresh record highs. Today, the start of the new series is likely to be in green but a bit cautious and some consolidation may appear after the big rally of yesterday, though higher rollovers to the new series indicate further bullishness for the markets. Traders will be getting some support with private weather forecaster Skymet's statement that the increase in pre-monsoon showers across the India is hinting at the arrival of monsoon 2017, which is not very far away. The weather forecasting agency predicted that monsoon will make an onset over Kerela by May 29, with a margin of error of three days. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has said farmers will continue to get short-term crop loan of up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7 per cent and the rate could go down to 4 per cent if they repay promptly in 2017-18. Traders will also be getting some encouragement with a report that India retained its numero uno position being the world's top most greenfield FDI investment destination for the second consecutive year, attracting $ 62.3 billion in 2016. There will be some buzz in the telecom sector stocks, as the telecom regulator Trai has directed telecom operators to stop providing discriminatory tariffs to the subscribers of the same category and report all plans to the sector watchdog within seven days of their launch. There will be lots of important earnings announcements too, to keep the markets in action.


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  • Infosys has launched 'Infosys Boundaryless Data Lake' offering powered by its Information Grid Solution on Amazon Web Services.
  • SBI has launched a national hackathon for developers, start-ups and students to come up with innovative ideas and solutions for the banking sector.
  • Axis Bank has unveiled Axis OK - a light, multilingual, non-data app for basic banking services through feature phones.
  • ONGC is planning to invest around Rs 30,000 crore in 2017-18 to develop oil and gas fields, expand refining capacity, and build pipelines.
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