NSE Intra-day chart (12 February 2018)
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Market Commentary 14 February 2018
Markets likely to make flat-to-positive start


Indian markets remain closed on Tuesday on account of Mahashivratri, though Monday turned out to be a fabulous day of trade for Indian equity benchmarks, with frontline gauges recouping previous sessions' losses and ending above their crucial 10,500 (Nifty) and 34,300 (Sensex) levels, as traders opted to buy beaten down but fundamentally strong stocks after recent sell-off. Key gauges made a gap-up opening and traded jubilantly throughout the session on Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel's statement that stock market bubble will not cause any major problem. He also said transmission of RBI decisions by banks have improved now, partly aided by demonetisation. Some support also came with Finance minister Arun Jaitley expressing confidence over comfortable revenue collection in 2018-19, seeking to remove doubts about any likely slippage in fiscal deficit from the revised target of 3.3% of GDP ahead of the general elections in 2019. Adding to the optimism, the government's revenue collection continued to register a steady growth in the April-January period, on the back of healthy growth in corporate tax collections. The net direct tax collections up to January, 2018 stood at Rs 6.95 lakh crore, registering a growth of 19.3% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. The collection indicated that 69.2% of the Revised Estimates of Direct Taxes for FY 2017-18 (Rs 10.05 lakh crore) has been achieved. Traders also took some encouragement with report that India's external debt has remained within manageable limits as indicated by the external debt indicators, and the country is not among the world's top debtors. India's external debt stock stood at $495.7 billion at quarter ending September 2017. Traders also drew some support with private report that retail inflation is expected to moderate and print at 5% after rising consecutively for five months, helped largely by seasonal dip in vegetable prices, while trade deficit is also likely to improve, in January. Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 294.71 points or 0.87% to 34,300.47, while the CNX Nifty was up by 84.80 points or 0.81% to 10,539.75.


The US markets closed higher on Tuesday, marking a third consecutive gain for equity gauges, ahead of a key inflation reading, even as shades of last week's brutal selling lingered. Despite the multisession rally, the S&P 500 and the Dow remain more than 7% below record levels, hit late January, after massive declines that took hold in earnest last week. Investors have also been considering a $4.4 trillion federal budget that US President Donald Trump has proposed, which would see the deficit nearly double in 2017 and rise some $7 trillion over the next decade. Of course, few expect the budget in its current form will be enacted by Congress, especially given that it pushes for deep cuts in social programs. But the tax cuts signed into law in December and the spending deal reached last week are already seen as adding to the deficit. On the economy front, the index of small-business optimism from the National Federation of Independent Businesses climbed two points to a reading of 106.9 in January. The closely watched index of sentiment among small-business owners roared higher in January after a December dip.  The record level of enthusiasm for expansion follows a year of record-breaking optimism among small businesses. On the other hand, according to research released by the New York Fed, a decade later, echoes of the financial crisis still linger in mortgage debt data. The report found that states hit hardest by the Great Recession continue to have subdued mortgage balances relative to other states that avoided the turmoil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 39.18 points or 0.16 percent to 24,640.45, the Nasdaq gained 31.546 points or 0.45 percent to 7,013.51, the S&P 500 edged higher by 6.94 points or 0.26 percent to 2,662.94.


Crude oil futures ended marginally lower on Tuesday on the back of surge in U.S. shale oil production. The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that surging U.S. production could delay OPEC's bid to balance the long-oversupplied oil market. It's another sign that the 14-member cartel will have to adjust to a market whose ups and downs are increasingly influenced by U.S. shale oil. The IEA's warning came in the latest monthly report from the Paris-based advisor to energy producers - the first it has issued since U.S. government data showed America's oil output topped 10 million barrels a day in November, roughly matching the all-time record set in 1970. Benchmark crude oil futures for March delivery declined 0.2 percent, at $59.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April Brent crude gained 5 cents to $62.77 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee trimmed some of its initial gains but still ended marginally higher against the American currency on Monday on continued dollar selling by banks and exporters. Sentiments remained positive with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressing confidence that there will be no more fiscal slippages as the financial position is likely to be comfortable from the next fiscal. Markets also drew some support with data indicating that the government's direct tax kitty swelled to Rs 6.95 trillion during the April-January period of the current fiscal, a growth of 19.3% over the year-ago period. Further, a weak dollar in overseas markets along with strong gains in the domestic equity markets also strengthened the rupee sentiment. However, gains were capped as some caution lingered in the market ahead of release of crucial macro-economic data- December IIP data and January CPI, due later today. On the global front, Britain's pound edged up against the dollar on Monday, with a weaker US currency helping sterling rebound from a three-week low reached last week after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator warned a transition deal was far from assured. Finally, the rupee ended at 64.31, 8 paise stronger from its previous close of 64.39 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday'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 3646.82 crore against gross selling of Rs 5040.52 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 508.13 crore with gross sales of Rs 412.06 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 0.05 crore against gross selling of Rs 1.05 crore


The U.S. markets edged higher on Tuesday, as traders looked ahead to the release of reports on consumer prices and retail sales on February 14. The data is likely to have a significant impact on how traders perceive the Federal Reserve will act regarding future interest rate hikes. Asian markets were exhibiting mixed trend in early deals on Wednesday despite the slightly firmer lead from Wall Street, which recorded a third consecutive day of gains in the last session. Indian equity benchmarks remain closed on Tuesday on occasion of Mahashivratri, while positive cues from global markets helped Indian shares to recover from their biggest weekly losses since August on Monday. Today, the start is likely to be flat-to-positive, as market participants will look forward to Wholesale Price Index (WPI) to be released later in the day. Traders will get some support with India's Retail inflation, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), easing to 5.07% in January 2018, after rising to 5.21% in the month of December. However, India's index of industrial production (IIP) for the month of December 2017 came at 7.1% as compared to 8.4% in last month. As per the street expectations it was likely to come at 6.4%. The cumulative growth for the period April-December 2017 over the corresponding period of the previous year stood at 3.7%. Some support will also come from private report that Inflation is peaking off and the Reserve Bank of India is expected to cut rates by 25 bps in August if monsoon is normal. Investors will also draw some comfort with Union minister Piyush Goyal's statement that the country's economic growth is likely to cross 7.5 per cent in the next fiscal. There will be lots of important earnings announcements too, to keep the markets buzzing.


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