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NSE Intra-day chart (21 February 2022)
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Market Commentary 22 February 2022
Markets to get gap-down opening as Russia-Ukraine tension worsens


In an extreme volatile trading session, Indian equity benchmarks ended lower for the fourth consecutive session on Monday. Except bank, all other sectoral indices ended in red with Oil & Gas, Metal, Utilities and Basic Materials down the most. Key gauges made weak start, as traders got anxious with labour ministry's report stated that retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers rose to 5.49 per cent and 5.74 per cent, respectively in January mainly due to higher prices of certain food items. Some concern also came with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed India's foreign exchange (forex) reserves declined by $1.763 billion to $630.19 billion in the week ended February 11 due to a sharp drop in the value of foreign currency assets.  Adding to the pessimism, depositories data showed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have withdrawn a net Rs 18,856 crore from the Indian markets in February so far amid geopolitical tensions and chances of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. However, in the afternoon deals, key indices trimmed losses and were trading in green, as traders found some support as India Ratings has revised the outlook on state finances to improving in FY23 from neutral and it expects the aggregate fiscal deficit of the states to come in at 3.6 per cent of their gross domestic product from 3.5 per cent in FY22 on the back of robust revenue growth. Some solace also came after Crisil Research stated that India's industrial activity is expected to gather pace in the coming months owing to a gradual pick-up in consumption as well as investment demand. Notably, the latest Index of Industrial Production (IIP) printed at 138 (index reading) in December 2021, representing a 0.4 per cent on-year growth, down from 1.3 per cent growth in November. But, resumption of selling pressure in the final hours again trimmed all gains, as investors globally remained on the back foot amid concerns about the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 149.38 points or 0.26% to 57,683.59 and the CNX Nifty was down by 69.65 points or 0.40% to 17,206.65.


The US markets were closed on Monday on account of Presidents' Day.


Continuing previous session gains, Indian rupee ended significantly higher against greenback on the back of a weak dollar and softer crude oil prices amid hopes of a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Sentiments were upbeat as Crisil Research has said that India's industrial activity is expected to gather pace in the coming months owing to a gradual pick-up in consumption as well as investment demand. Notably, the latest Index of Industrial Production (IIP) printed at 138 (index reading) in December 2021, representing a 0.4 per cent on-year growth, down from 1.3 per cent growth in November. The rupee later gave up some of the gains due to losses in the domestic equity markets and forex outflows. On the global front, sterling rose against a weakening dollar and was slightly lower versus the euro on Monday as hopes for a diplomatic solution to the Russian-Ukraine standoff boosted risk appetite. Finally, the rupee ended at 74.55 (Provisional), stronger by 10 paise from its previous close of 74.66 on Friday.


The FIIs as per Monday's data were net sellers in equity segment, while net buyers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 3095.16 crore against gross selling of Rs 6153.15 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 457.24 crore with gross sales of Rs 319.56 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 33.91 crore against gross selling of Rs 35.22 crore.


The US markets remained closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. Asian markets are trading in red on Tuesday amid geopolitical tensions, as Russia ordered troops into eastern Ukraine. Indian markets logged their fourth straight session of fall on Monday as participants remained cautious over lingering geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe. Today, start of session is likely to be gap-down tracking sell-off in the Asian peers as tensions around the Russia-Ukraine conflict continue to mount. Tensions have escalated in the with Russian President Putin recognised two breakaway regions Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent entities and described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia's history. Moreover, as per a private report, some Ukrainian civilians have been killed in frontline shelling over the night. Also, as per provisional data available on the NSE, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have net sold Rs 2,261.90 crore worth of shares. However, some respite may come later in the day as NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the Indian economy is growing at 9.2 per cent and is expected to grow at similar rates in the coming years. While referring to the government's production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for sunrise sectors, Kant said it will add $520 billion to India's output in the next five years and make India a part of the global supply chain. Some support may come as commerce and minister Piyush Goyal said India and the UAE are looking at mutual recognition of professional bodies and educational institutions under a free trade agreement (FTA) that was signed last week. This development could boost co-operation between universities, students and employers in the two nations. Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said banks need to focus more on being customer-friendly so that the process of availing credit becomes more hassle-free for borrowers. There will be some buzz in the oil & gas industry stocks as India's fuel demand is likely to grow 5.5% in the next fiscal year beginning April 1, initial government estimates show, reflecting a pick-up in industrial activity and mobility in Asia's third largest economy after months of stagnation. Aviation industry stocks will be in focus with a private report that the government is likely to propose a formula to bring aviation turbine fuel (ATF) under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST). The likely government proposal will be to allow 18 percent GST in addition to VAT or excise rate. There will be some reaction in textile industry stocks as the government may soon revisit a plan to hike the GST rates for most textile products in the man-made fibre (MMF) value chain from 5% to 12% in late December 2021 amid protests from the industry.


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  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has received the EIR from the USFDA indicating closure of the inspection at its formulations manufacturing facilities at Duvvada in Visakhapatnam.  
  • BPCL has entered into MoU with an online platform for public procurement in India, Government e-Marketplace. 
  • TCS has launched the TCS Sydney Digital Garage, Powered by TCS Pace, an innovation and digital collaboration center bringing the company's global capabilities to the Australian market. 
  • Bharti Airtel has joined the SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium to scale up its high speed global network capacity to serve India's fast growing digital economy.
News Analysis