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NSE Intra-day chart (29 March 2017)
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Market Commentary 30 March 2017
Markets to start the F&O expiry session on a flat-to-cautious note

After trading in tight range for most part of the session, the Indian equity benchmarks have snapped the day with about half a percent gains. Sentiments remained upbeat with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming the GST bill revolutionary and hoping all the political parties would pass the related bills through consensus in the current session of Parliament. Allaying apprehension of spike in prices of goods and commodities after the roll out of the GST, Jaitley said the tax rates will be kept at the current levels so as not to have any inflationary impact. Further, the rupee strengthened to a 17-month high of 64.95 against the dollar, which also helped improve the risk appetite. Adding optimism among investors, Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said that long-term strategic plans are being prepared for overall development of the country and consultations with states and other stakeholders have been completed with respect to these proposed initiatives. Some support also came with the report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 6415.38 crore on March 28, 2017. However, gains remained capped with the report that Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep policy rates on hold this year but there are risks tilted towards a hike in 2018. According to the report, inflation is likely to remain within the RBI's target range of 2-6%, but India is still some time away from bringing inflation to its 4% target sustainably. Meanwhile, shares of major automobile majors took a hit as investors turned cautious of the Supreme Court's verdict on BS-III vehicles. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that health of millions of citizens was more important that commercial interests of manufacturers and directed the government not allow registration of polluting BS-III vehicles after March 31. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 121.91 points or 0.41% to 29531.43, while the CNX Nifty was up by 43 points or 0.47% to 9,143.80.


The US markets closed mostly higher on Wednesday, though the Dow industrials finished lower, as stock investors digested hawkish comments from Federal Reserve speakers and a drop in US gasoline inventories bolstered the energy sector. Investors are focusing too much on the drama of President Donald Trump and Congress to appreciate the economic underpinnings of the market. On the economy front, contract signings for home sales boomed in February to the second-highest level in a decade. Pending home sales rose 5.5% in February after falling 2.8% in January. That's the highest level in close to a year. The National Association of Realtors forecasts a 2.3% rise in existing-home sales and a 4% rise in median home prices for 2017, after a 3.8% rise in existing sales and a 5.1% price rise in 2016. Meanwhile, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that the US Federal Reserve should raise interest rates three more times this year due to the strength of the economy. The Nasdaq was up 22.41 points or 0.38 percent to 5,897.55, S&P 500 gained 2.56 points or 0.11 percent to 2,361.13, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 42.18 points or 0.20 percent to 20,659.32.


Crude oil futures surged on Wednesday, extending their gains for the second consecutive session, after the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed a smaller than expected rise in US crude stockpiles while output disruptions in Libya continued to lift sentiment. For the week ending March 22, The EIA said that crude oil inventories rose by 0.867 million barrels compared to estimates of an increase of 1.357 million barrels. At the same time, gasoline inventories continued to fall, dropping another 3.7 million barrels in a sign of impending demand for crude oil in the coming weeks. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery moved higher by $1.14 or 2.4% to $49.51 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery ended higher by $0.98 at $52.40 on the ICE.


Indian rupee appreciated against dollar to hit a fresh 17-month high and breached 65-mark on Wednesday on increased liquidation of the American currency by exporters and banks. This is the third consecutive session when the rupee traded higher against dollar. Domestic currency got some support with the Care ratings' report that it expects GDP growth to accelerate to 8 percent next financial year as against 7.1 percent in this year as per the latest CSO estimate and added that the monsoon will be the only domestic risk factor which may scupper this. Besides, gains in the domestic equity market and continued foreign inflows made the going easy for the rupee. However, the dollar's recovery against some currencies overseas restricted the rupee up move. On the global front, sterling battled back from a one-week low and regained its composure amid the drama of Britain formally triggering its exit process from the European Union. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.91, 13 paise stronger from its previous close of 65.04 on Monday.


The FIIs as per Wednesday's data were net buyers in equity and debt segments both. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 21367.12 crore against gross selling of Rs 14015.17 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 8211.75 crore with gross sales of Rs 1251.56 crore.


The US markets once again showed a lackluster trade and made a mixed closing in last session. Traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves amid continued uncertainty about President Donald Trump's policy agenda following the failure of the Republican health care bill. The Asian markets have made a weak start and some of the indices are down by about half a percent, the Japanese market too was lower despite the yen weakening and crude holding on to last day's surge. The Indian markets extended gains in last session, with major benchmarks adding about another half a percent and the rupee hitting a 17-month high to breach the 65-mark against the dollar on strong capital inflows as the much-awaited GST Bill discussion started in the Lok Sabha. Today, the start of the F&O series expiry session is likely to be a bit soft to flat tailing weak global cues. However, market may recover soon as the Lok Sabha passed all four GST Bills to make India's new tax regime effective from July 1. The four GST Bills were passed after an eight-hour marathon debate in the Lower House. Markets may see volatility towards the series expiry with traders rolling over their positions to the next series. Meanwhile, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian has said that the twin balance sheet problem - over-leveraged companies and bad-loan-encumbered banks - is perhaps India's top macroeconomic challenge at the moment and how much of haircut the banks will have to take is at the core of the problem. The auto stocks will continue to reel under pressure after the Supreme Court banned sale and registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1. Refusing to extend the March 31 deadline, the apex court observed that the health of the citizen is more important than the commercial interests of the automobile industry.


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