Monday February 18, 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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Rupee Depreciation Against Dollar Leads to Sharp Rise in Crude Prices

The rupee lost heavily towards the end of the week - over 70 paise in the last three trading session.

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rupees, Dollar, Currency
The currency losing against the dollar and rising crude oil prices was a double whammy for the bond markets. Pixabay

In a choppy week’s trade, the Indian currency weakened against the US dollar to close above the 71 a dollar mark on Friday, owing to a sharp rise in crude oil prices, turmoil in the equity markets and uncertainty around the US-China trade relations.

In what could translate into further trouble for the domestic currency, analysts see an upward move of 6 to 7 per cent in the Brent crude prices in the coming week.

The rupee lost heavily towards the end of the week – over 70 paise in the last three trading session – as traders reacted to the sanction on Venezuela and production cut by OPEC and Saudi Arabia.

Sajal Gupta, Head Fx & Rates Edelweiss, said “technically … crude now looks set for another 6-7 per cent rise” which would mean that the rupee was likely to depreciate further in the coming sessions. “And if Rs 71.80 per dollar is broken, we can head towards Rs 72.50 mark.”

Rupee, Dollar, Currency
The rupee lost heavily towards the end of the week – over 70 paise in the last three trading session. Pixabay

Among other factors impacting the currency, Gupta said, with crude and dollar index giving breakout, rupee would remain under pressure. Trade deficit data released on Friday post market was also not very encouraging with monthly deficit touching almost 15 billion dollars.

“Political tensions would also remain heightened with key leaders vowing strong retaliation in wake of the biggest terror attack in the Kashmir valley.”

Explaining the factors which has caused volatility, Anindya Banerjee of Kotak said the currency markets largely depend on the capital flows … and right now the fear of a possible retaliation by the government in response to the Pulwama attack is having an affect.

“The context of the whole event is also important because (Lok Sabha) elections are around the corner,” Banerjee said.

Also, the currency losing against the dollar and rising crude oil prices was a double whammy for the bond markets, he added.

On the global front, discussing the factors affecting the currency, Banerjee said, the Chinese economy was very fragile right now and moreover investors were looking for developments in the US-China trade talks.

Rupee, Dollar, currency
India on Friday revoked the Most Favoured Nation Status (MNS) of Pakistan which has led to decline in equite markets for 6 straight years. Pixabay

However, Gurang Somaiya, currency analyst, Motilal Oswal, felt that the rupee was protected from any major weakness as “Foreign Institutional Investment (FII’s) came around good”, especially in February.

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According to data from the bourses, FII has seen inflows worth Rs 1,096 crore in February.

India on Friday revoked the Most Favoured Nation Status (MNS) of Pakistan and has warned that more stern actions will follow the attack in Pulwama. Additionally, equity markets have declined for 6 straight sessions showing weak investor sentiments. (IANS)