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Market Commentary 15 September 2021
Markets to open in red amid weak global cues


In a range-bound session, Indian equity benchmarks closed flat on a positive bias on Tuesday amid gains in Utilities, Consumer Discretionary, Auto and TECK shares. Indices opened a day with good gap, as the government data showed India's retail inflation in August marginally eased to 5.3%, staying within Reserve Bank of India's comfort zone for a second month. Inflation in the food basket was 3.11% in August compared to 3.96% in the preceding month. Some optimism also came as Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reiterated that the disinvestment plan of the government was on track and the Development Finance Institution (DFI), announced in the Budget, will become operational soon. Additional support also came with India Ratings and Research's report stated that inflation rates are expected to decline till at least November this year. The retail inflation in August 2021 declined both sequentially and on a year-over-year basis to 5.30 per cent. The strong base effect resulted in the decline in retail inflation. It is the seventh consecutive month of retail inflation remaining in excess of 5 per cent and the 23rd consecutive month of retail inflation remaining in excess of RBI's targeted inflation rate of 4 per cent. But, key indices cut most of their gains in late afternoon session after data showing that the wholesale price-based inflation rose marginally to 11.39% in August, mainly due to higher prices of manufactured goods, even as prices of food articles softened. In July 2021, WPI inflation stood at 11.16%. However, key indices managed to end session in green, taking support from Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal's statement that India and the UK are moving towards an early harvest trade agreement, with a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) the next step. The UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) said the talks between the two ministers focussed on the scope and ambition for a UK-India free trade agreement (FTA), following the close of the UK's formal consultation process ahead of the negotiations on August 31. Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 69.33 points or 0.12% to 58,247.09 and the CNX Nifty was up by 24.70 points or 0.14% to 17,380.00.


The US markets ended lower on Tuesday despite cooler-than-expected inflation reading. A highly anticipated report released by the Labor Department showed a modest increase in US consumer prices in the month of August. The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.3 percent in August after climbing by 0.5 percent in July. Street had expected consumer prices to increase by 0.4 percent. The consumer price growth was partly due to another sharp increase in energy prices, which spiked by 2.0 percent in August after jumping by 1.6 percent in July. Gasoline prices led the way higher, soaring by 2.8 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices inched up by just 0.1 percent in August after rising by 0.3 percent in July. Street had been expecting another 0.3 percent increase.  Higher prices for household operations and shelter contributed to the uptick in core prices, which reflected the smallest increase since February. A 9.1 nosedive in prices for airline fares limited the upside for core prices along with lower prices for used cars and trucks and motor vehicle insurance. The report also showed a slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth, which dipped to 5.3 percent in August from 5.4 percent in July. The annual rate of core consumer price growth also slowed to 4.0 percent in August from 4.3 percent in the previous month.


Crude oil futures gave back early gains and ended almost flat on Tuesday on signs another storm could affect output in Texas this week even as the US industry struggles to return production after Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. More than 39% of the US Gulf of Mexico's production of crude and natural gas remained shut on Tuesday, the regulator Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said. Nicholas made landfall in Texas on Monday and was to reach Louisiana on Wednesday, bringing more floods and heavy rains to the Gulf's oil facilities. Crude oil futures gained 1 cent to settle at $70.46 barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. November Brent crude surged 9 cents or 0.14 percent to settle at $73.60 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange. 


Indian rupee ended flat on Tuesday due to mild dollar demand from banks and importers. Traders took some support as government data showed that India's retail inflation in August marginally eased to 5.3%, staying within Reserve Bank of India's comfort zone for a second month. Inflation in the food basket was 3.11% in August compared to 3.96% in the preceding month. Meanwhile, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal held a discussion with British Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss on enhancing the India-UK trade partnership. On the global front, sterling steadied close to 5-week highs against the dollar on Tuesday supported by labor market data that showed the total number of payrolled employees in Britain has climbed to pre-pandemic levels. Finally, the rupee ended unchanged from its previous close of 73.68 on Monday.


The FIIs as per Tuesday's data were net buyer in both equity and debt segment. In equity segment, the gross buying was of Rs 8677.34 crore against gross selling of Rs 7266.00 crore, while in the debt segment, the gross purchase was of Rs 669.10 crore against gross selling of Rs 413.95 crore. Besides, in the hybrid segment, the gross buying was of Rs 43.40 crore against gross selling of Rs 22.87 crore.


The US markets ended lower on Tuesday, giving up gains earlier in the session after a better-than-feared inflation reading and falling back into their September doldrums. Asian markets are trading lower in early deals on Wednesday following weakness in US markets. Indian equity benchmarks ended higher on Tuesday as the government data showed that India's retail inflation in August marginally eased to 5.3%, staying within Reserve Bank of India's comfort zone for a second month. Today, markets are likely to open in red on weak global cues. There may be some cautiousness with report that India needs $8 trillion of gross capital formation in greenfield assets to become a $5 trillion economy by FY27. To achieve this, the economy will need at least $400 billion, cumulatively, over six years, in foreign direct investment. However, some respite may come later in the day as traders may get support as India's exports rose by 45.76 per cent to USD 33.28 billion in August, as against USD 22.83 billion in the same month last year, according to commerce ministry data released. There will be some encouragement as private report stated that the surprise fall in August inflation gives the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) room to continue with its accommodation stance longer, and keep a lid on any criticisms about it. The August consumer price index (CPI) inflation print came at 5.3 per cent, lower than the consensus of 5.6 per cent. Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has permitted 11 states to borrow an additional amount of Rs 15,721 crore after these states achieved the capital expenditure target set for the June quarter. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. There will be some buzz in Agriculture  stocks as the Agriculture Ministry signed five MoUs with CISCO, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms, ITC and NCDEX e-Markets (NeML) to conduct pilot projects for promotion of digital technology and other best practices in the farm sector. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said modernisation of the agriculture sector will continue by infusing new technologies so that farmers can increase their income. There will be some reaction in banking stocks as the gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) of banks are expected to cross Rs 10 lakh crore by March 2022, a ASSOCHAM-Crisil joint study has said. NPAs are expected to rise to 8.5-9 per cent by March 2022, driven by slippages in retail, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) accounts, besides some restructured asset.


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