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Market Commentary 26 December 2017
Markets likely to make a soft-to-cautious start of the week

Friday turned out to be a fabulous day of trade for Indian equity benchmarks with frontline gauges ending at all time high levels ahead of Christmas. Markets after an optimistic start traded with traction throughout the session and the Santa Claus rally in final hour of trade helped Nifty to hit 10,500 mark for brief period, but ended tad lower of that level. Sentiments remained up-beat with Reserve Bank of India in its latest edition of the Financial Stability Report enlightened that while the stress in the banking sector remains elevated, it appears to be bottoming out. Some support also came with Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) Bibek Debroy's statement that India is expected to be a $6.5-7 trillion economy by 2030, and at the current exchange rate it would touch $10 trillion by 2035-40. He said that India will be remarkably different country as the size of its economy will enhance the country's role in global affairs. Markets continued jubilation in second half of trade as well with traders expecting a good budget and strong H2FY18 earnings. The street however shrugged off the IMF's report that India's financial sector is facing considerable challenges with high non-performing assets and slow deleveraging and repair of corporate balance sheets testing the resilience of the banking system and holding back growth. Separately, backed by improvement in major indicators, such as auto production, coal output and rail freight growth, credit rating agency, ICRA in its monthly review on Indian Economy, has said that the growth in the index of industrial production (IIP) is expected to rebound in November after hitting a three-month low of 2.2% in October this year. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 184.02 points or 0.55% to 33940.30, while the CNX Nifty was up by 52.70 points or 0.50% to 10493.00.


The US markets ended Friday's trade with marginal cut, as traders largly remained on sidelines ahead of the Christmas weekend. Traders shrugged off the slew of U.S. economic data released, including a Commerce Department report showing a spike in new home sales to a ten-year high in November. The Commerce Department said new home sales surged up by 17.5 percent to an annual rate of 733,000 in November from the revised October rate of 624,000. The street had expected new home sales to drop to 654,000 from the 685,000 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected jump, new home sales in November were at their highest annual rate since reaching 778,000 in July of 2007. Sentiments remained cautious with private report stating that a smaller than expected increase in personal income in the month of November, while personal spending climbed by more than expected. The personal income rose by 0.3 percent in November after climbing by 0.4 percent in October. Economists had expected another 0.4 percent increase. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said personal spending climbed by 0.6 percent in November after edging up by 0.2 percent in October. Spending had been expected to rise by 0.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 28.23 points or 0.11 percent to 24,754.06, the Nasdaq shed 5.40 points or 0.08 percent to 6,959.96, and the S&P 500 was down by 1.23 points or 0.05 percent to 2,683.34.


Crude oil futures moved higher on Friday, ahead of the Christmas weekend, though the trading remained light as traders closed positions ahead of the Christmas and New Year breaks. Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander reportedly said that OPEC and Russia would exit cuts smoothly, possibly extending curbs in some form to avoid creating any new surplus. Benchmark crude oil futures for January delivery ended higher by $0.11 or 0.2 percent at $58.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for February delivery was up by $0.35 to $65.25 a barrel on the ICE.



Indian rupee surrendered most of its earlier gains and ended tad higher against dollar on Friday, on bouts of greenback selling by exporters and banks. Sentiment remained largely dull in the absence of any major triggers and currency traders preferred to stay on the sidelines ahead of Christmas holiday. Some support came with the ICRA's monthly review report which stated that the growth in the index of industrial production (IIP) is expected to rebound in November after hitting a three-month low of 2.2% in October this year, backed by improvement in major indicators, such as auto production, non-oil merchandise exports and rail freight growth. On the global front, Euro slumped against dollar on Friday after Catalan vote results indicated a victory for separatists in a blow to Madrid. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.04, 2 paise stronger from its previous close of 64.06 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net sellers in equity segment, while they were net buyers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 4817.18 crore against gross selling of Rs 6126.09 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1462.13 crore with gross sales of Rs 1285.02 crore.


The US markets made a modestly lower closing in the last session, while the major averages remained much of the day in red shrugging off the slew of some positive U.S. economic data. Trading activity remained light as many traders looked to get a head start on the Christmas weekend. Most of the Asian markets are not trading today and those which are opened have made mildly negative start.  Japanese market too has given up its gain from near the highest levels since the early 1990s, while China's currency reached its strongest since September. Investors had little reaction to Japanese data showing a drop in unemployment and slight acceleration in inflation. The Indian markets before going for a long weekend surged to its fresh record highs in the last session. Today, the start of the last week of the calendar year is likely to be mildly in red on sluggish regional cues. Traders however, may get some support latter in the day with industry body Assocham's Year-Ahead Outlook report, which has said that India's economic growth may touch 7 percent next year as the government's policies tilt towards the country's stress-ridden rural landscape in the penultimate year before the 2019 general elections. It said that against GDP growth of 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017-18, the economic expansion may reach the crucial 7 percent mark by the end of September 2018 quarter, while inflation may range between 4 to 5.5 percent towards the second half of the next calendar year with the monsoon being a key imponderable. The banking stocks will be in action, as dismissing rumours, both the government and the Reserve Bank has said there was no question of closure of any public sector bank.



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  • TCS has been positioned as a leader for the fourth consecutive year in the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Application Testing Services.
  • SBI has opened two 'SBI Exclusif Wealth Management' hubs at its branches located at HSR Layout and Hope Farm Circle, Whitefield in Bengaluru.
  • HDFC has entered into a definitive agreements to transfer its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty and, HDFC Developers to Quikr.
  • ITC has won the 'Facade Project of the year - Developer' award in the 2017 edition of the Zak Awards for its landmark project, the ITC Green Centre, Bengaluru. 
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