NSE Intra-day chart (19 February 2018)
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Market Commentary 20 February 2018
Markets likely to make pessimistic start on weak Asian cues


Indian equity benchmarks ended the Monday's trade on disappointing note with frontline gauges settling below their crucial 33,800 (Sensex) and 10,400 (Nifty) levels. Markets started the session on pessimistic note, as traders remained concerned with report that an index mapping the country's short-term financial conditions has plunged over 12 points for the fourth quarter of the current fiscal ending March 31, as compared to the previous quarter. A joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has indicated that the India's financial conditions index stood at 53.2 for Q4 (January-March) of 2017-18 as against 65.3 in the previous quarter, thereby registering a significant fall of 12.1 points. Sentiments also remained dampened on report that in lieu of the ongoing fraudulent transaction scam involving Punjab National Bank, the ASSOCHAM demanded that the government to reduce its stake in banks to less than 50. Meanwhile, the government's chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian underlined the need for more privatization in the banking sector. Adding to the pessimism, foreign investors, so far this month, have pulled out a staggering $1 billion or Rs 6,850 crore from equities during February 1-16 from the Indian stock market in the wake of sell-offs globally. This is against the total inflow of over Rs 13,780 crore by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in January. The selling got intensified and markets even went to test their psychological 33,600 (Sensex) and 10,300 (Nifty), but key gauges got strong support near those levels and managed to prune some of their losses to end off day's low. Some solace came with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that the budget reforms have created a new work culture and they are transforming the socio-economic landscape of the country. He said the budget was not limited to outlay, its focus was on the outcome. Finally, the BSE Sensex declined 236.10 points or 0.69% to 33,774.66, while the CNX Nifty was down by 73.90 points or 0.71% to 10,378.40.


U.S. equity markets remain closed for Presidents' Day holiday.


Extending winning streak for the fourth straight day, Crude oil prices climbed higher on Monday, with the commodity picking up where it left off last week, when prices rebounded as investor appetite for riskier assets improved. Moreover, an escalation in tensions in the Middle East also took oil prices northward, with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that his country will directly strike oil producer Iran if Tehran uses Syria to test his country. Meanwhile, US inventory data continued to provide some support as it reported smaller than expected builds of 1.8 million during last week. Benchmark crude oil futures for March delivery surged 80 cents or 1.3 percent, at $62.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April Brent crude gained 72 cents or 1.1 percent to settle at $65.56 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Indian Money market remained closed on Monday on account of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti.


The FIIs as per Friday's data were net sellers in equity and debt segments both, in equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 4415.89 crore against gross sell of Rs 4550.42 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 738.39 crore with gross sales of Rs 780.32 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross selling of Rs 0.56 crore against no buying.


The US markets remain closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian stocks were trading under pressure in morning trade, tracking losses in European stocks. Japanese Nikkei edged notably lower despite a weaker yen. On the economic front, Japan will see January results for machine tool orders and convenience store sales today. Indian equity markets fell notably on Monday after the Rs 11,400 crore banking fraud unearthed at Punjab National Bank (PNB) last week raised worries over the systemic and others risk management systems prevailing within the banking ecosystem. Today, markets is likely to make pessimistic start, tracking weakness in regional counterparts and recent developments with the loan fraud in PNB. The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested three more employees of PNB on Monday over a $1.77 billion loan fraud, and the government said the scandal exposed a supervisory failure by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Sentiments will also remain dampen with Labour Ministry survey stating that contractual workers and casual labourers are among the worst hit during the April-June quarter of the current financial year with manufacturing reporting 87,000 job loss. However, traders will get some relief with Suresh Prabhu's statement that the government will soon come out with a comprehensive strategy to increase the share of global trade to 40 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is expected to touch $5 trillion by 2025. There will be buzz in stocks related to telecom sector on report that the Cabinet is likely to decide next month on the relief package for the telecom sector, based on the recommendations of an inter-ministerial group, including giving more time to telecom operators to make payment for spectrum and increasing the holding limit of radio waves.


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  • IOC will invest Rs 70,000 crore to raise its oil refining capacity by about a quarter by 2030 as it takes the lead to meet rising energy needs of the country. 
  • L&T's construction arm -- L&T Construction -- has bagged orders worth Rs 1,680 crore. 
  • M&M will be investing Rs 1,700 crore which will be spent towards creating an entertainment destination at Kandivali. 
  • Bharti Airtel has entered into a partnership with HMD Global to offer affordable 4G smartphone options to customers as part of Airtel's Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative.
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