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NSE Intra-day chart (31 March 2022)
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Market Commentary 01 April 2022
Benchmarks likely to get negative start amid weak global cues


Indian equity benchmarks ended the last trading session of the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) on a lower note, on the back of negative cues from other Asian markets. Key indices made positive start as traders took some support with the International Monetary Fund stating that India, which has received a record number of foreign direct investment during the last few years despite COVID-19 crisis, has quite a few safeguards in place to mitigate the risks from capital flows. Some optimism also came with Union Minister of State for Commerce Anupriya Singh Patel's statement that India's export of agricultural products have touched $40.87 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal and it is 25.14 percent more than the financial year. Traders took note of union Minister of State for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma's statement that Government has been putting special focus to bring MSMEs into the defence supply chain and thereby boosting self-reliance of the country. He said MSMEs can also contribute to the rapidly increasing defence exports market. However, key gauges gave up early gains to settle lower, as traders got anxious as India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) lowered India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast to 7-7.2 per cent for FY23, from 7.6 per cent projected earlier, citing the rising uncertainty over Russia-Ukraine war and the resultant dampening of consumer sentiment. Some concern also came amid private report stating that after the record $23 billion of additional investments in the domestic equities in FY21, foreign funds have massively slashed their fresh exposure to the country to $3.7 billion in FY22, also pairing down their holdings in NSE500 to 19.9 per cent or worth $582 billion, down from their peak of 21.4 per cent. Adding to the pessimism, petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last 10 days to Rs 6.40 per litre. Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending upon the incidence of local taxation. This is the ninth increase in prices since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 115.48 points or 0.20% to 58,568.51 and the CNX Nifty was down by 33.50 points or 0.19% to 17,464.75.


The US markets settled in red on Thursday as some traders continued to cash in on recent strength in the markets, which lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to their best closing levels in well over two months on Tuesday. Selling pressure picked up considerably in the final hour of the last trading day of the quarter, which marked the first negative quarter for the major averages since the first quarter of 2020. For the first three months of 2022, the Nasdaq plummeted by 9.1 percent and the S&P 500 and Dow dove by 4.9 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, although the major averages regained some ground in March. On the sectoral front, Housing stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 3.5 percent to its lowest closing level in over a year. On the economic data front, a day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 26th. The report showed initial jobless claims edged up to 202,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level of 188,000. Street had expected jobless claims to inch up to 197,000 from the 187,000 originally reported for the previous week. Besides, personal income in the U.S. increased in line with street estimates in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department. The report showed personal income rose by 0.5 percent in February after inching up by a revised 0.1 percent in January. Street had expected personal income to climb by 0.5 percent compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.


Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Thursday with the US announcing its largest-ever release from the nation's crude reserves. President Joe Biden said he's authorizing the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day for the next six months from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or more than 180 million barrels in total. Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) held the line in its Thursday meeting, rubber-stamping a previously agreed plan that will lift its production target by 432,000 barrels a day in May. OPEC+ has resisted calls by the Biden administration and other energy-consuming countries to more rapidly boost output. Besides, Russia is reportedly offering hefty discounts of its oil to India, amid sagging demand due to those sanctions. Benchmark crude oil futures for May delivery fell $7.54 or 7 percent to settle at $100.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for June delivery dropped $6.73 or 6 percent to settle at $104.71 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


Erasing previous session losses, Indian rupee ended substantially stronger on fresh selling of American currency by banks and exporters. Traders' mood was upbeat as International Monetary Fund said that India, which has received a record number of foreign direct investment during the last few years despite COVID-19 crisis, has quite a few safeguards in place to mitigate the risks from capital flows. Investors shrugged off reports stating that India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) lowered India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast to 7-7.2 per cent for FY23, from 7.6 per cent projected earlier, citing the rising uncertainty over Russia-Ukraine war and the resultant dampening of consumer sentiment. On the global front, euro edged higher on Thursday extending a run of gains on hopes for progress in Ukraine peace talks, while investors focused on the European Central Bank's potential monetary tightening after strong inflation data. Finally, the rupee ended at 75.76 (Provisional), stronger by 14 paise from its previous close of 75.90 on Wednesday.


The FIIs as per Thursday's data were net buyers in both equity and debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 10725.27 crore against gross selling of Rs 8341.86 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 1102.67 crore with gross sales of Rs 1024.60 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 19.45 crore against gross selling of Rs 5.08 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Thursday as concerns persisted about the continuing conflict in Ukraine and its inflationary effect on prices and the Federal Reserve's response. Asian markets are trading mostly in red on Friday following overnight losses on Wall Street, with investors looking ahead to the release of a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity in March. Indian markets pared their early gains and settled lower in choppy trade on the last day of the 2021-22 fiscal on Thursday, dragged by heavyweight conglomerate Reliance Industries and aluminium producer Hindalco. Today, markets are likely to get negative start on the first day of new financial year 2023. Traders will be concerned as data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed India's current account deficit widened to a massive $23 billion in October-December 2021 from $9.9 billion in July-September 2021 due to a higher merchandise import bill. More pessimism may come as data released by the Ministry of Finance showed that India's external debt rose $11.5 billion in October-December 2021 to stand at $614.9 billion at the end of the quarter. Besides, the Centre's fiscal deficit at the end of February stood at 82.7 per cent of the full year budget target, mainly on account of higher expenditure. In the last financial year, the fiscal deficit or gap between the expenditure and revenue was 76 per cent of the Revised Estimate (RE) of 2020-21. However, some respite may come later in the day as infrastructure industries grew by 5.8% on year in February, largely benefiting from a low base as the core sector output had contracted 3.3% a year ago. Except crude oil and fertiliser production, all other core sector segments - coal, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity - registered a positive annual growth in February. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) yet again extended the existing foreign trade policy (FTP) (2015-20) by another six months till September 30 to ensure policy continuity in external trade. Real estate industry stocks will be in focus with a private report stating that housing sales increased by 7 per cent year-on-year to 70,623 units during January-March across eight major cities on better demand driven by very low-interest rates on home loans, while prices appreciated by an average of 7 per cent. There will be some reaction in auto industry stocks as Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari said that India has registered overall 162 per cent growth in the sales of electric vehicles this year. Aviation industry stocks will be in limelight as Jet fuel prices were hiked by 2 per cent - the seventh straight increase this year - to an all-time high, reflecting a surge in global energy prices. Meanwhile, investors will be eyeing the auto sales data to be out later in the day.


Support and Resistance: NSE (Nifty) and BSE (Sensex)



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News Analysis