NSE Intra-day chart (16 September 2019)
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Market Commentary 17 September 2019
Markets to get a weak start amid subdued global cues


Indian equity markets remained under the grip of bears on Monday, with Sensex & Nifty closing lower by over 250 & 50 points, respectively. The markets made a weak start of the day, impacted by the commerce ministry's data report showing that India's exports dropped by 6.05 per cent to $26.13 billion in August compared to the year-ago month. Imports too declined by 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion, narrowing trade deficit to $13.45 billion in August. Anxiety also remained among traders, amid SBI report stating that the contemporary issue for macroeconomists is to exclusively focus on assuring adequate aggregate demand as the current slowdown cannot be tackled by monetary policy in isolation. Weak trade persisted on the street in the second half of the trading session, as investments through participatory notes (P-notes) in the Indian capital market stood at Rs 79,088 crore in August-end, registering the third consecutive month-on-month decline. Investments through P-notes has been declining since June, while the month of May had registered an increase over the previous month. Market participants took a note of report that India's Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation remained unchanged at 1.08% in the month of August 2019, as compared to July 2019 and 4.62% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Finally, the BSE Sensex lost 261.68 points or 0.70% to 37,123.31, while the CNX Nifty was down by 72.40 points or 0.65% to 11,003.50.


The US markets ended in red on Monday after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities added to investors' concerns about geopolitical risk and a stumbling global economy. Brent crude futures showed the biggest intraday jump on record after a coordinated drone attack on Saudi Arabia's oil industry. Besides, President Donald Trump said he has authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if necessary to keep the markets well supplied. Trump also said the US is locked and loaded to the respond to the attacks, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointing the finger at Iran. A potential military conflict between the US and Iran would weigh on a global economy that is already being dragged down by the US-China trade war. On economic front, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report showing New York-area manufacturing activity was little changed in the month of September. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index dipped to 2.0 in September from 4.8 in August, although a positive reading still indicates an increase in regional manufacturing activity. Street had expected the index to edge down to 4.0. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy decision later this week, with the central bank widely expected to cut interest rates by another 25 basis points. Trump has been pressuring the Fed for a larger rate cut, pointing to the stimulus announced by other central banks around the world.


Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Monday after the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities resulted in a loss of about 5% of global crude output. Gains in crude oil prices were biggest single-session intraday gain in nearly 20 years. Price spikes in crude come after a Saturday attack on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field, which has thrown offline an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production a day, equivalent to more than 5% of the world's daily supply. Besides, a report suggested that Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, will restore at least a third of the production lost to weekend attacks on two major oil facilities. Benchmark crude oil futures for October rose $8.05 or 14.7 percent to settle at $62.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent surged $8.80 or 14.6 percent to settle at $69.02 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee ended considerably weaker against the US dollar on Monday, as oil prices skyrocketed after drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure. Rupee sentiment remained fragile with the commerce ministry's data report showing that India's exports dropped by 6.05 per cent to $26.13 billion in August compared to the year-ago month. Imports too declined by 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion, narrowing trade deficit to $13.45 billion in August. The weak trade in the local equity market along with dollar's strength against major global currencies overseas also weighed on the local unit. On the global front, pound fell nearly half a percent on Monday as concern revived that Britain will struggle to secure a deal on the terms of its departure from the European Union. Finally, the rupee ended at 71.60, 68 paise weaker from its previous close of 70.92 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday's data were net sellers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 3170.47 crore against gross selling of Rs 3567.56 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1874.22 crore with gross sales of Rs 2224.53 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 13.48 crore against gross selling of Rs 9.41 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Monday after a weekend attack on Saudi Arabia's oil-production facilities unsettled global markets. Asian markets are trading mostly in red on Tuesday as investors assessed heightened geopolitical risks in the aftermath of the strike on Saudi Arabia's crude production. Indian markets ended lower with cut of over half a percent on Monday on surging crude oil prices, following the drone attack on Saudi oilfields, along with heavy selling in Energy, Auto, Bankex and Realty stocks. Today, the markets are likely to make weak start amid subdued global cues. Traders will be concerned with a private report indicating that lose-monetary policy alone cannot arrest the deepening slump, instead government must take demand-boosting measures, especially in rural areas, by frontloading expenditure primarily through the national rural employment scheme. It also warned that any attempt to trim government spending to maintain the fiscal numbers will be severely detrimental to growth. Investors will be reacting to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das' statement that India's current account and fiscal deficit could take a hit if oil prices continue to rise after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend. Also, there will be some cautiousness as Das expressed concern over the first quarter GDP numbers in the ongoing fiscal, which was pegged at 5 per cent, terming it as a surprise. However, the RBI governor said he was confident that the economy would recover following the host of measures undertaken by the government. Though, traders may take note of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal's statement that India and the US are in continuous dialogue and working towards early resolution of trade related issues. Some support may also come with a report that the government expects a 30% rise in export credit disbursals by the end of 2019-20 through greater insurance coverage of exporters and easier inspection norms. Meanwhile, in a relief to the farm sector, the government has decided not to levy 2 per cent tax deduction at source (TDS) on cash payments of over Rs 1 crore made through Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). There will be some reaction in aviation stocks with a private report indicating that domestic airlines may have to hike fares two weeks ahead of the busy travel season if oil prices remain elevated over next few days.


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