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Market Commentary 08 May 2024
Markets likely to get flat-to-positive start on Wednesday

Indian equity benchmarks ended over half a percent lower on Tuesday amid selling pressure across sectoral indices and in the broader markets despite firm cues from global markets. Markets made a slightly positive start but soon erased gains to trade lower amid foreign fund outflows. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 2,168.75 crore on May 6. Also, geopolitical tensions weighted on markets as Israel commenced its planned military offensive in Rafah hours after it rejected Hamas's proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza. Key gauges extended losses in late morning deals as traders remained anxious with a private report stating that beyond geopolitical situations, the growing global concern surrounding environmental issues and clean energy pose certain threats to Indian companies planning to invest abroad. Sentiments remained dampened in afternoon deals, even as India Ratings and Research revised upward the country's GDP growth estimate for FY25 to 7.1 per cent from 6.5 per cent earlier. The projection is marginally higher than the Reserve Bank's estimate of 7 per cent. The rating agency said strong support from the sustained government capex, deleveraged balance sheets of corporate and banking sector, and the incipient private corporate capex cycle make it revise its estimate. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government has adopted a pro-poor approach while implementing Goods and Services Tax, and despite lower taxes rates the revenues as a percentage of GDP have reached the pre-GST level. She said without GST, states' revenue from subsumed taxes from FY 2018-19 to 2023-24 would have been Rs 37.5 lakh crore. With GST, states' actual revenue amounted to Rs 46.56 lakh crore. Finally, the BSE Sensex fell 383.69 points or 0.52% to 73,511.85 and the CNX Nifty was down by 140.20 points or 0.62% points to 22,302.50.

The US markets ended mostly higher on Tuesday. Markets saw modest strength throughout much of the trading session but gave back ground in afternoon trading to end the day little changed. The Dow still managed to close higher for the fifth consecutive session, reaching its best closing level in a month. However, buying interest waned after Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari suggested interest rates may need to remain at current levels for an extended period. Kashkari said I would need to see multiple positive inflation readings suggesting that the disinflation process is on track before cutting rates. Kashkari also said he could not rule out the Fed once again raising rates, calling the bar for hiking rates quite high but not infinite. On the sectoral front, most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets. Airline stocks showed a substantial move to the downside, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index tumbling by 2.7 percent. Considerable weakness also emerged among computer hardware stocks, as reflected by the 1.1 percent loss posted by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index. On the other hand, utilities stocks turned in a strong performance on the day, driving the Dow Jones Utility Average up by 1.3 percent. Among individual stocks, shares of Disney (DIS) fell sharply even though the entertainment giant reported better than expected fiscal third quarter earnings.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday as investors looked for direction, closely following the developments on the geopolitical front, and awaiting weekly crude inventory. Hamas reportedly accepted an Egyptian-Qatari cease-fire proposal to halt the seven-month war with Israel, but the latter said the deal didn't meet its core demand. Meanwhile, markets await weekly oil reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA is scheduled to release its inventory data on Wednesday. Benchmark crude oil futures for June delivery fell $0.10 or about 0.12% to settle at $78.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for July delivery lost $0.17 or 0.20% to $83.16 per barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

Indian rupee consolidated in a narrow range and settled almost unchanged against the US dollar on Tuesday, amid a weak trend in domestic equities. The strength of the American currency in the overseas market, elevated crude oil prices and foreign fund outflows weighed on the local unit. However, traders took some support as India Ratings and Research revised upward the country's GDP growth estimate for FY25 to 7.1 per cent from 6.5 per cent earlier. The projection is marginally higher than the Reserve Bank's estimate of 7 per cent. The rating agency said strong support from the sustained government capex, deleveraged balance sheets of corporate and banking sector, and the incipient private corporate capex cycle make it revise its estimate. On the global front, the U.S. dollar edged higher on Tuesday, attempting a comeback after the sharp losses at the end of last week, while the Japanese yen retreated despite more intervention threats. Finally, the rupee ended at 83.51 (Provisional), stronger by 1 paisa from its previous close of 83.52 on Monday.

The FIIs as per Tuesday's data were net sellers in equity segment, while they were net buyers in debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 13576.97 crore against gross selling of Rs 14727.95 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 2378.93 crore with gross sales of Rs 2015.39 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 9.05 crore against gross selling of Rs 46.84 crore.

The US markets ended mostly in green on Tuesday as investors weighed potential Federal Reserve rate cuts. Asian markets are trading mixed on Wednesday after a slow US session. Some investors doubt if the recent rally can hold amid economic uncertainties. Indian markets ended lower on Tuesday due to continued profit booking as selling prevailed across the board amid disappointing Q4 earnings. Today, markets are likely to get a flat-to-positive start mirroring a mixed trend in global markets. Fall in crude oil prices likely to aid domestic sentiments. Oil steadied near its mid-March lows amid Middle East tensions and a slightly bearish US stockpiles report. However, foreign fund outflows likely to dent sentiments. FIIs sold shares worth Rs 3,668.84 crore on May 7. There will be some cautiousness as an industry wise analysis of the National Accounts Statistics 2024 data showed gross capital formation (GCF) - or investment - in manufacturing, construction, and mining sectors contracted in FY23 primarily due to a fall in export demand and low private consumption during the year. Traders may take note of ICRA's report that incremental credit flow in the Indian economy from domestic sources is expected to moderate to Rs 24.5 trillion in the ongoing financial year. It was Rs 25.4 trillion in the previous financial year. However, the corporate bond issuances are expected to rise by 9.9 per cent. Stocks of Oil & Gas Industry likely to be in focus as data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed that India's fuel consumption, a proxy for oil demand, rose by 6.1% year-on-year to 19.858 million metric tons in April. There will be some reaction in FMCG industry stocks with a private report that the Indian FMCG industry experienced a 6.5 per cent growth in volume terms at a national level in the January-March period of 2024, with rural consumption surpassing urban for the first time in five quarters. Aviation industry stocks will be in limelight with a private report that the average daily domestic air traffic experienced a month-on-month increase of 1.6 per cent, reaching 442,783, fueled by sustained demand during the summer season. Meanwhile, investors will watch out for key results including Hero MotoCorp, L&T, TVS Motors, and Tata Power among others.

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