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Market Commentary 27 November 2017
Markets likely to get a soft start of the crucial F&O expiry week

Extending their winning streak for seventh straight session, Indian equity benchmarks ended the trade with a gain of over quarter a percent, recapturing their crucial 10,350 (Nifty) and 33,600 (Sensex) levels. Sentiments remained upbeat throughout the session with traders taking support from a private report that the slowdown in the economy has bottomed out, and going forward, the pace of recovery will depend on initiatives the government takes to boost growth momentum, especially private investment. The report added that there has been improvement on some parameters of the economy following the slowdown, post demonetization and GST. Traders also took some encouragement with the Union minister Suresh Prabhu's statement that the commerce and industry ministry is chalking out a 'proper' business plan based on market research in its bid to promote exports of goods and services. He added that proper market segmentation is the need of the hour to understand the potential of domestic goods and services. Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) plan to ease takeover rules to speed up the resolution of insolvency proceedings for stressed companies as local lenders seek to recover about Rs 9 lakh crore from entities rendered unviable by the mounting debt pile, too aided sentiments. Markets continued taking support from report that the global ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) will revise India's sovereign ratings. In 2012, the outlook for the country was lowered to negative, which was raised to stable soon after the Modi government assumed office in 2014. The rating, however, remained unchanged at 'BBB-'. Some support also came with Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) statement that the government's recent move to give infrastructure status to the logistics industry in India, will not only spur growth, but will also bring in more investments into this sector. Traders also took some comfort with the President's assenting to the ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) that will bar defaulters from bidding for the stressed assets received thumbs up from stakeholders who described it as a major step towards providing comfort to incoming new investors. Finally, the BSE Sensex gained 91.16 points or 0.27% to 33,679.24, while the CNX Nifty was up by 40.95 points or 0.40% to 10,389.70.


The US markets ended the abbreviated trading session with marginal gains on Friday. Trading activity remained subdued, however, as many traders remained away from their desks following the holiday. An early close on Wall Street also contributed to the light trading. Traders remained on sidelines ahead of congressional testimony which may attract attention next week, as the Senate Banking Committee is due to hold a confirmation hearing for Federal Reserve Chair nominee Jerome Powell. Current Fed Chair Janet Yellen is also scheduled to testify on the economic outlook before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. Also, market participants opted to stay away from risky assets ahead of reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, personal income and spending, and manufacturing activity which may also attract attention next week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 31.81 points or 0.14 percent to 23,557.99, the S&P 500 jumped 5.34 points or 0.21 percent to 2,602.42, while the Nasdaq was up by 21.80 points or 0.32 percent to 6,889.16.


Crude oil futures ended at a fresh two week high on Friday on a report suggesting OPEC and Russia agreed on a plan to extend output curbs lifted sentiment. Traders also got some support with tighter supplies amid ongoing disruption to the Keystone pipeline. The Keystone pipeline leak has kept shipments from Canada's oil sands from reaching US Gulf refineries, but should be allievated soon. Meanwhile, OPEC meets November 30 to decide whether to process with supply quotas. Benchmark crude oil futures for December delivery ended higher by $0.93 or 1.6 percent at $58.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for January delivery was up by 0.58 percent to $63.90 a barrel on the ICE.


Indian rupee ended weaker against dollar on Friday on account of increased demand for dollar from banks and importers. Investors failed to get solace with a private report that the slowdown in the economy has bottomed out, and going forward, the pace of recovery will depend on initiatives the government takes to boost growth momentum, especially private investment. The report added that there has been improvement on some parameters of the economy following the slowdown, post demonetization and GST. However, gains of local equities coupled with dollar's weakness against the basket of other major currencies limited further depreciation of Indian currency. On the global front, US dollar was listless against euro after data showed that the euro zone economy continued to improve and job creation grew at its fastest pace in 17 years. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.70, 13 paise weaker from its previous close of 64.57 on Thursday.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net buyers in equity segment, while they were net sellers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 5676.89 crore against gross selling of Rs 4300.13 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 74.44 crore with gross sales of Rs 342.41 crore.


The US markets made a positive closing in the last session; the strength partly reflects recent upward momentum, which helped to lift the major averages to new record closing highs earlier in the week. The Asian markets have made mostly a lower start, as investors turned their attention to U.S. tax reform ahead of a busy week with data on the health of the world's biggest economies. The Indian markets had shown a continued bull-run in the passing week and ended higher in the last session, making it a seven days gaining streak. Today, the start of the crucial week of F&O expiry is likely to be a bit soft-to-cautious on sluggish regional cues and there will be some knee-jerk reaction to Standard & Poor's decision of retaining its sovereign rating for India at BBB- with a stable outlook, dashing hopes of another upgrade after rival Moody's lifted its rating by a notch after a gap of nearly 14 years. However, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar has said that Standard & Poor`s (S&P) refusal to upgrade India`s sovereign ratings will have no major impact on the country`s creditworthiness. Traders will also be concerned with industry body Assocham's statement that inflation would remain a key concern for the RBI and the government, dimming hopes of a cut in interest rates. Direction for the market may be influenced by GDP and PMI data for the manufacturing sector due later this week. Meanwhile, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said the time has come for consolidation of reforms, including GST, bankruptcy code and benami law, initiated by the Modi government in the last 42 months to ensure that the steps deliver the "desired fruits". He added that evidence of substantial increase in employment, concerns over job creation is quite exaggerated. Traders will also be getting some support with Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian's statement that going forward the Goods and Services Tax (GST) may "probably" have fewer rates by "collapsing" 12 percent and 18 percent tax slabs into one. There will be some buzz in the gems and jewellery segment, as the commerce ministry is working on a package in consultation with the gems and jewellery industry to boost export and create jobs in this labour intensive sector.


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