Wednesday May 22, 2019
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Fate of Indian equity market in the hands of upcoming Budget Session

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Mumbai: The upcoming week in the Indian equity market will witness Parliamentary proceedings, US macro-economic data and trends in crude oil prices, leading the fate of markets’ next moves.

Even the budgetary announcements, rupee’s trajectory and the interest of foreign investors will give vital cues to where the market is heading.

“Markets would continue to be lacklustre and news driven. Forthcoming budget expectations and corporate earnings would be watched closely,” predicted Devendra Nevgi, chief executive of ZyFin Advisors.

Pankaj Sharma, head of equities for Equirus Securities, elaborated that investors will be guided and influenced by developments surrounding the union budget.

“The market would read the important cues on the budget from key decision makers, both politicians and senior bureaucrats and react accordingly,” Sharma noted.

“One good thing in all this market mayhem over last 6-7 weeks which has been led by global factors is that the usual buzz on the budget has largely been missing.”

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, pointed out that investors have not priced in the possibility of key reforms being passed in the parliament session.

“Any progress towards implementation of important reforms such as the GST (goods and services tax) would be a key trigger for the markets,” Agarwal told reporters.

Market participants expect the central government to increase expenditure, announce tax concessions and pave the way to reduce the NPAs levels of the banking sector.

“Sentiments are currently down and any positive announcement is surely going to trigger a relief rally in the equity markets. This rally might spill over to the currency markets,” Anindya Banerjee, associate vice president for currency derivatives with Kotak Securities, told reporters.

According to Banerjee, normal parliamentary proceedings, after the recent political turmoil will be keenly followed by market participants. The parliament’s budget session will commence on Tuesday.

“Any signs of a washout in the initial few days will dampen sentiments and dent the rupee,” Banerjee stated.

He explained that an “over-valued rupee” will come under pressure from February 22 onwards as a string of US economic data released till date is expected to keep the dollar well supported.

The rupee had crashed to an all time low at 68.89 to the dollar in the oversees currency markets on Friday and ended the day’s trade at 68.72.

Domestically, the rupee had closed unchanged from its previous close of 68.47 to a greenback on Thursday. The domestic currency markets were closed on Friday.

Besides, the union budget economic survey and railway budget will dictate trend on the bellwether indices informed Gaurav Jain, the director of Hem Securities.

“Indices may seem to remain volatile with a positive bias ahead of the expiry of February series derivative contract, economic survey and reform measures announced in the upcoming railway budget in the week ahead,” Jain said.

In addition, global cues, such as crude oil prices and the trends in foreign funds inflows will be keenly observed.

“Markets will continue to react to global cues with US home sales and GDP data expected next week,” Agarwal added.

Analysts forecast the continuation of the relief rally at the Indian bellwether indices. Short-covering, value buying and positive global cues had swelled the equity markets, during the just-concluded weekly trade.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (S&P Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) zoomed by 723.03 points or 3.14 percent to 23,709.15 points during the just concluded week.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 229.8 points or 3.29 percent to 7,210.75 points.

Global indices too rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing the week with gains of 2.6 percent. London’s FTSE rose by 4.2 percent during the week under review. (Rohit Vaid, IANS)

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RBI May Recoup Reserves, Strong Inflow of Foreign Funds And Benign Oil Prices Strengthening Indian Currency

A major factor supporting the rupee is the strong prospect of better fund flows from abroad.

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Experts now see a chance for the RBI to recoup the reserves it spent in 2018 defending the rupee. Pixabay

A strong inflow of foreign funds and benign oil prices have strengthened the Indian currency but what has worked best for the rupee is the fading impact of war hysteria. Experts now see a chance for the RBI to recoup the reserves it spent in 2018 defending the rupee.

Putting a number to this, Gurang Somaiya, currency analyst at Motilal Oswal, said: “It is possible that RBI may limit some of the appreciation and recoup some of its lost reserves… but it may only come if the rupee strengthens to around Rs 68.20 a dollar.”

Explaining the factors at play, Anindya Banerjee, Deputy Vice President for Currency and Interest Rates with Kotak Securities, said: “Post-Abhinandan (shooting down of the IAF pilot), geopolitical risk has subsided which has boosted investor sentiments.”

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The decline in crude oil, which accounts for a large import bill for India, directly affects the exchange rates.
Pixabay

Banerjee added that the gains of the rupee will help the Reserve Bank of India recoup reserves which it lost last year in a bid to arrest its fall.

“The rupee appreciated and closed at 70.14 for the last week on the back of strong flows and fading impact of war hysteria,” said Sajal Gupta, Head Forex and Rates, Edelweiss Securities.

In addition, Gupta said that some “big flows are lined up next week. Maybe Arcelor Mittal money can hit the Indian markets which can lead to some more appreciation towards 69.50 unless the RBI intervenes”.

However, the rising dollar index is causing nervousness and any breakout may lead to a reversal in the rupee’s trend, said Gupta. Somaiya said that RBI may choose not to intervene as the central bank’s prime aim was to arrest volatility.

“Yes the rupee is inching below the 70-a-dollar mark but then the (general) election can cause massive volatility. Also, it is seen that a lot of central banks are getting into a dovish stance owing to the fears of global slowdown.”

The RBI had to stop the slump in the rupee late last year after it touched an all-time high of 74.47 on October 11 following the rising crude oil prices.

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However, the rising dollar index is causing nervousness and any breakout may lead to a reversal in the rupee’s trend, said Gupta. Somaiya said that RBI may choose not to intervene as the central bank’s prime aim was to arrest volatility. Pixabay

The Brent Crude touched $86-a-barrel mark in early October but started to ease following the US decision to exempt 8 countries, including India and China, to continue buying oil for six months from Iran despite sanctions.

The decline in crude oil, which accounts for a large import bill for India, directly affects the exchange rates.

A major factor supporting the rupee is the strong prospect of better fund flows from abroad.

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“Inflows into India have clearly turned positive since the end of January. The flows in February at Rs 17,720 crore is the highest since November 2017. The trigger for this inflows is the dovish statement that came from the Fed at the end of January,” said V.K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $401.78 billion as against $393.13 billion in November last year. As the data suggests, with improving macros, the forex is already on the recovery path. (IANS)