From cloudburst to rainbow: Bihar to drive markets (Market Outlook)

Mumbai, Nov 8 (IANS) Stormy conditions are forecast for the Indian equities markets as high volatility, coupled with choppy sessions, are expected to dock investors away from the bellwether indices during the upcoming weekly trade.

The cascading impact of a combined punch from the Bihar poll outcome, heightened chances of a US rate hike and quarterly results are expected to rock the already subdued Indian equities markets.

“Global markets trends, key domestic monthly macroeconomic numbers, outcome of Bihar elections, interests of foreign portfolio investors and commodity price will dictate the trajectory of the bourses,” Gaurav Jain, director with Hem Securities, told IANS.

“Nifty may see a pullback in the truncated Diwali week with major support at 7,800-levels.”

The winner of the Bihar state elections 2015 is expected to dictate the trajectory that the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets take in the upcoming week.

“Next week, the sentiment will be driven by the expected outcome of the Bihar elections and how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performs to consolidate its position in the Rajya Sabha,” Devendra Nevgi, chief executive of ZyFin Advisors, told IANS.

The storm clouds gathered on account of brewing Bihar results might just throw up a pleasant rainbow, on the contrary, most of the leading experts believe that it will result in an all out burst for the incumbent central government.

“A win for the ruling party could be seen as a verdict on its present policies, and also bolster its presence in the Rajya Sabha, but more importantly, it could serve as a release from the present uncertainty that has stifled the stock prices in a range,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

Pankaj Sharma, head of equities for Equirus Securities, said: “The reports on Bihar elections are increasingly getting more negative for BJP and other parties in the NDA alliance and that could be an additional risk.”

“Nevertheless, we think that the impact of these elections on market performance and future of economic reforms will not be significant.”

The Bihar verdict is due on Sunday. However, on Thursday, four out of six exit polls predicted a victory for Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance, while two polls showed BJP in the lead.

Some analysts have predicted that a BJP loss will force the markets to correct by 2-2.5 percent, while a victory will buoy the Indian indices by 1-1.5 percent.

On the other hand, Vaibhav Agrawal, vice president, research, Angel Broking, told IANS that the uncertainties over the US Fed rate hike in December will keep the Indian market on tenterhooks.

“US jobs data (on Friday) showed a strong improvement in October increasing the possibility of a December rate hike. We expect markets to continue to remain negative in the absence of any positive triggers,” Agrawal elaborated.

The US non-farm payrolls data showed an increase of 271,000 new jobs for October, the biggest rise since December 2014, which plunged the unemployment rate to a seven and a half years low of five percent.

The better-than-expected data and comments from the US central banks has spooked global investors of an interest rate hike.

A rate hike could potentially lead to massive amounts of pull-back of foreign funds from emerging economies like India. It is also expected to dent business margins, as access to capital from the US will become expensive.

“Markets will closely watch the US interest rates developments given the strength in the job markets which reinforces the rate hike expectations,” Nevgi added.

Furthermore, the quarterly results season which has so far been disappointing at best, is expected to remain tepid.

“Some of the infrastructure companies’ results affirmed that the worries on infrastructure space are far from over,” Sharma said.

“We do not foresee above expectation results from most other companies in this sector and this will certainly not be liked by the markets.”

Lastly, cues on the upcoming winter session of the parliament later in the month would become the prime focus for the investors, as reforms return as the major trigger for the markets.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

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