Caution over upcoming GDP data subdues equity markets

Mumbai, Feb 8 (IANS) Caution over the upcoming domestic economic growth data and consolidation trend subdued Indian equities markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Monday.

This led to a barometer index of the Indian equity markets to trade flat.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a tentative footing, following the US markets’ decline last Friday, after the release of non-farm payrolls data.

Further, investors were seen cautious over the upcoming GDP (gross domestic product) data for the fourth quarter (Q4). The macro-economic data is expected to be released after market hours on Monday.

Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained only 47 points or 0.19 percent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was flat. It inched up by 16 points, or 0.21 percent, at 7,504.65 points.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 24,637.41 points, was trading at 24,664.14 points (2.00 p.m.) — up 47.17 points or 0.19 percent from the previous day’s close at 24,616.97 points.

It has so far touched a high of 24,698.95 points and a low of 24,530.43 points during the intra-day trade.

The S&P BSE market breadth favoured the bulls — with 1,499 advances and 987 declines.

“Indian markets opened on a tentative footing, but remained upwardly bound on hopes of good earnings results,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“GDP data scheduled for release after market hours, however kept gains limited.”

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, elaborated that shares traded flat — oscillating between positive and negative territory led by lack of directional cues from global markets.

“The US jobs data presented a mixed picture with a decline in the pace of hiring despite a drop in unemployment rate and strong wage growth,” explained Agarwal.

“We have a slew of economic data coming out over the coming days with the GDP figure expected today. We expect markets to react to these data points coupled with earnings from some blue chips this week.”

Nitasha Shankar, vice president for research with YES Securities, cited that Indian benchmark indices were flat, which indicated a consolidation trend; while broader markets outperformed major indices.

“Buying interest in the high beta stocks and PSU banking stocks are seen in trade. Bank index continues to be top gainer led by short covering,” Shankar noted.

“All major indices, barring the IT and pharma indices are trading in the green, with PSU bank and reality indices leading the way.”

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