NSE Intra-day chart (01 March 2018)
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Market Commentary 05 March 2018
Markets likely to make positive start on Monday


Indian equity benchmarks ended the volatile day of trade with a cut of over one third of a percent. Markets traded choppy for most part of the day, as sentiments remained dampened after former RBI governor D Subbarao cautioned against India's deficit challenge and said the country is no longer the sweet spot due to rising oil prices. Some anxiety also came after India reported a fiscal deficit of Rs 6.77 trillion ($103.72 billion) for April-January or 113.7 per cent of the target originally set for the fiscal year that ends in March. After trading negative in morning deals, Indian equity benchmarks made splendid recovery to get back in green terrain, as traders took some solace with  report that the Indian economy grew at five-quarter high of 7.2% in the October-December period reflecting overall recovery due to good show by agriculture, manufacturing, construction and certain services. The economy is expected to grow at 6.6% in the current fiscal ending March 31, as per the second advanced estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), compared to 7.1% in 2016-17. The earlier estimate was 6.5%. The growth for the second quarter (July-September) has been revised upwards to 6.5%, from 6.3% estimated earlier by the CSO. But, selloff in last hour of trade mainly played spoil sport for the domestic markets and dragged Sensex below their crucial 34,100 mark. Traders shrugged off report that India's core sectors grew at a faster clip in January from a year ago than in the previous month, with an uptick in cement, electricity, coal, refinery products and steel industries, indicating a strong start to the last quarter of 2017-18. The combined index of the eight core industries rose 6.7% in January compared to 4.2% in December 2017. Traders failed to get any relief with Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman Bibek Debroy's statement that the economy is on the right track and the current expansion in the growth rate suggests that the reforms initiated by the government have started showing results. Finally, the BSE Sensex shed 137.10 points or 0.40% to 34,046.94, while the CNX Nifty was down by 34.50 points or 0.33% to 10,458.35.


The US markets closed mostly higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq erasing an early decline to end higher as investors viewed the reaction to an announcements of tariffs as overdone. The Dow, however, fell for a fourth straight session and major indexes suffered sharp weekly losses. Much of that weakness came after President Donald Trump on Thursday announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and subsequently escalated the rhetoric around a potential trade war, considered a major political risk for markets. Trump said he would sign orders next week imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum. Many US companies use steel and aluminum in their production, such as airplane makers and beverage companies. Tariffs can push up the cost of goods, which in turn lifts the selling price or reduces profits, if the manufacturer absorbs the costs. Such trends could amplify market concerns about inflation, which have been a primary driver behind market direction in recent weeks, typically to the downside. On the economy front, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index in February was the second-strongest it has been in 14 years, though the final reading was revised lower a touch to 99.7. Consumers had favorable assessments of jobs, wages, and higher after-tax pay. The highest proportion of households since 1998 reported that their finances had improved compared with a year ago. The Nasdaq gained 77.305 points or 1.08 percent to 7,257.87, S&P 500 was up by 13.58 points or 0.51 percent to 2,691.25, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 70.92 points or 0.29 percent to 24,538.06.


Snapping a three-session slide, Crude oil futures edged higher on Friday, supported by a weaker US dollar and a modest increase in the number of US oil rigs in operation. Oil-field services firm Baker Hughes said the number of rigs drilling for US crude rose by one unit to 800 this week. The firm's weekly data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the US is seen as a bellwether for activity in the sector. It was the fifth week in a row that the US rig count crept up. Besides, the US dollar declined against most major currencies after US President Donald Trump announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Benchmark crude oil futures for April delivery rose 26 cents or 0.4 percent at $61.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude gained 54 cents or 0.9 percent to settle at $64.37 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended tad higher against dollar on Thursday, owing to dollar sale by exporters and banks. Traders took some support with report that the Indian economy grew at five-quarter high of 7.2% in the October-December period of the fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18), as against 6.5% in the previous quarter and 6.8% in the same period last year, on the back of a sharp pickup in the services sector, a rebound in industrial activity, especially manufacturing and construction, and an expansion in agriculture. However, gains were limited as some anxiety came with India reporting a fiscal deficit of Rs 6.77 trillion ($103.72 billion) for April-January or 113.7% of the target originally set for the fiscal year that ends in March. Besides, dollar's strength against major global currencies overseas along with late hour selloff in the domestic equity markets, weighed on the rupee sentiment. On the global front, dollar hit a six-week high on Thursday, supported by what was perceived as an upbeat tone from new Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell on the US economy, bolstering bets that interest rates will be hiked four times this year in the United States. Finally, the rupee ended at 65.15, 2 paise stronger from its previous close of 65.17 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net sellers in equity and debt segments both, in equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 8756.44 crore against gross selling of Rs 10475.28 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1014.60 crore with gross sales of Rs 2760.69 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 0.15 crore against no selling.


After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks showed a significant turnaround over the course of the trading day on Friday and ended mostly in green terrain. Asian markets were trading mostly in red on Monday, on fears of a trade war after President Donald Trump vowed to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Indian shares fell for a third straight session on Thursday, although losses remained modest after impressive core sector data for January and rebounding GDP growth. Today, the start of the session is likely to be on positive side ahead of the second leg of the Budget Session of Parliament, slated to commence from March 5. The multi-crore PNB bank fraud and the Rotomac issue are set to rock the second leg of Budget Session. Traders will also be eyeing a monthly survey on the performance of India's services sector in February 2018, slated to be released later in the day. The Indian services sector remained in expansion mode in January, registering the fastest rise in activity in three months driven by a renewed increase in new business orders. Market participants are likely to get some support, as the BJP expanded its foothold in northeast with its stunning victory in Tripura polls and improved performance in Meghalaya and Nagaland elections, boosting its prospects for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Some support will also come with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley showing confidence that India would retain its position of fastest growing economy in the coming decades, like China did in the last three decades. He said, the way the situation in the world is changing there is a great opportunity that has come in the way of India. The world keep facing its challenges and in the last few years India has started leaving its footprints behind. Meanwhile, India's exposure to US government securities rose sharply to a high of $144.7 billion at the end of 2017. The country remained the 12th largest overseas holder of such securities, just behind oil rich Saudi Arabia, whose holding stood at $147.4 billion in December 2017.


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  • Bajaj Auto has registered a jump of 31% in total sales to 3,57,883 units in February 2018 against 2,73,513 units in February 2017. 
  • L&T's construction arm -- L&T Construction -- has bagged orders worth Rs 1,593 crore across various business segments. 
  • Maruti Suzuki India has reported 15% rise in its sales to 1,49,824 units in February 2018, as compared to 1,30,280 units in February 2017. 
  • Tata Motors has reported sales of 58,993 units during February 2018 as against 42,679 units sold in February 2017, to register a growth of 38%.
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