NSE Intra-day chart (17 September 2019)
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Market Commentary 18 September 2019
Benchmarks to make optimistic start amid positive global cues


Indian equity bourses witnessed bloodbath on Tuesday, amid concerns over soaring crude prices following drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. After a negative start, indices remained sluggish for the entire day, as the Reserve Bank of India's Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India's current account & fiscal deficit could take a hit if oil prices continue to rise after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend. Some concerns also came with reports 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. The markets extended losses during the second half of the trading session, after credit rating agency, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) in its latest report stated that the recent set of measures to stimulate growth announced last week would yield only limited short-term benefits. It also said that the weakness in the economy has largely been caused by demand-side headwinds, which have been exacerbated by structural bottle-necks. Market participants paid no heed towards 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. Finally, the BSE Sensex lost 642.22 points or 1.73% to 36,481.09, while the CNX Nifty was down by 185.90 points or 1.69% to 10,817.60.


The US markets ended higher on Tuesday as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to lower interest rates by another 25 basis points, with traders likely to pay closer attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the long-term outlook for rates. Besides, uncertainty about the US response to the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities kept upside in check. President Donald Trump has indicated the US is prepared to respond militarily but has stopped short of definitively blaming Iran for the attacks. Trump said diplomacy has not been exhausted when it comes to Iran and would not rule out meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week. On the economic front, the Fed released a report showing industrial production rebounded by much more than anticipated in the month of August. The report said industrial production climbed by 0.6 percent in August after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in August. Street had expected industrial production to rise by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.2 percent dip originally reported for the previous month. A separate report from the National Association of Home Builders showed an unexpected improvement in US homebuilder confidence in the month of September. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index inched up to 68 in September from an upwardly revised August reading of 67.


Crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said the kingdom's crude production could return to normal as soon as the end of the month, as the nation recovers from weekend attacks on crucial processing facilities. US President Donald Trump has said the US prepared to respond militarily but has stopped short of definitively blaming Iran for the attacks. Yemen's Houthi rebels have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. Besides, the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) report said crude oil production from seven major US shale plays is forecast to climb by 74,000 barrels a day in October to 8.843 million barrels a day. Meanwhile, traders were also looking ahead to the weekly crude inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and EIA. Benchmark crude oil futures for October slipped $3.56 or 5.7 percent to settle at $59.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent fell $4.47 or 6.5 percent to settle at $64.55 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian rupee continued its downtrend for the second straight day against the US dollar on Tuesday, due to strong demand for the American currency from importers. Investors remain concerned with 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. The domestic currency was also weighed down by dollar's strengthen against some other currencies overseas along with sharp losses in the local equities. On the global front, dollar stood tall against other major currencies on Tuesday as geopolitical risks encouraged investors to flock to the relative safe-appeal of the greenback before a US central bank policy meeting this week, where a rate cut is widely expected. Finally, the rupee ended at 71.78, 18 paise weaker from its previous close of 71.60 on Monday.


The FIIs as per Tuesday's data were net sellers in both equity and debt segments. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 4025.07 crore against gross selling of Rs 4817.33 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 355.81 crore with gross sales of Rs 2491.62 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 32.57 crore against gross selling of Rs 26.45 crore.


The US markets ended in green on Tuesday as oil prices retreated from a historic gain and investors looked ahead to an expected cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Asian markets are trading mostly higher on Wednesday following gains on Wall Street. Indian markets ended lower with cut of over a percent on Tuesday amid heavy selling pressure on fears of spike in crude oil prices and weakness in the rupee against the US dollar could hurt the economy further. Today, the markets are likely to make optimistic start tracking positive global cues along with easing crude oil prices. Traders will be taking encouragement with a report that the finance ministry is working on one more booster dose to give a leg-up to the economy that has hit over six-year low of 5 per cent. As per the report, the blue print for the stimulus is ready that would be announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the next few days. Some support will also come with Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal's statement that government is planning to launch a National Logistics Policy to reduce trade costs. He added that all transport sectors of railways, civil aviation, roads and shipping would work towards bringing logistics costs below 10%. Traders may take note of Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant's statement that structural reforms in agriculture and exports are needed to bring growth rate back to higher levels. He also said the fundamentals of the economy are intact which will help the government take back the economy to the higher growth trajectory soon despite the global slowdown. There will be some buzz in the IT services stocks with rating agency ICRA's statement that growth of IT services companies is expected to remain in 6-8 per cent range in US dollar terms in 2019-20, even as the profitability of these firms declined in the first quarter on account of higher employee expenses. Also, power stocks will be in focus as India Ratings & Research maintained a stable-to-negative outlook on the power sector for the remaining FY20, despite an increase in electricity demand and a rise in thermal plant load factor (PLF). There will be some reaction in auto component industry stocks as ICRA revised its sector outlook on auto components to negative, following a sharp and broad-based contraction in OEM sales in the past several quarters.


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