Parliamentary proceedings to steer Indian equity markets (Market Outlook)

Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Parliamentary proceedings, coupled with US macro-economic data and trends in crude oil prices, are expected to steer the Indian equity markets during the upcoming week.

Even the budgetary announcements, rupee’s trajectory and the interest of foreign investors will give vital cues to the markets’ next moves.

“Markets would continue to be lacklustre and news driven. Forthcoming budget expectations and corporate earnings would be watched closely,” predicted Devendra Nevgi, chief executive of ZyFin Advisors.

Pankaj Sharma, head of equities for Equirus Securities, elaborated that investors will be guided and influenced by developments surrounding the union budget.

“The market would read the important cues on budget from key decision makers, both politicians and senior bureaucrats and react accordingly,” Sharma noted.

“One good thing in all this market mayhem over last 6-7 weeks which has been led by global factors is that the usual buzz on budget has largely been missing.”

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, pointed out that investors have not priced in the possibility of key reforms being passed in the parliament session.

“Any progress towards implementation of important reforms such as the GST (goods and services tax) would be a key trigger for the markets,” Agarwal told IANS.

Market participants expect the central government to increase expenditure, announce tax concessions and pave the way to reduce the NPAs levels of the banking sector.

“Sentiments are currently down and any positive announcement is surely going to trigger a relief rally in the equity markets. This rally might spill over to the currency markets,” Anindya Banerjee, associate vice president for currency derivatives with Kotak Securities, told IANS.

According to Banerjee, normal parliamentary proceedings, after the recent political turmoil will be keenly followed by market participants. The parliament’s budget session will commences from Tuesday.

“Any signs of a washout in the initial few days will dampen sentiments and dent the rupee,” Banerjee stated.

He explained that an “over-valued rupee” will come under pressure from February 22 onwards as a string of US economic data released till date is expected to keep the dollar well supported.

The rupee had crashed to an all time low at 68.89 to the dollar in the oversees currency markets on Friday and ended the day’s trade at 68.72.

Domestically, the rupee had closed unchanged from its previous close of 68.47 to a greenback on Thursday. The domestic currency markets were closed on Friday.

Besides, the union budget economic survey and railway budget will dictate trend on the bellwether indices informed Gaurav Jain, director with Hem Securities.

“Indices may seem to remain volatile with positive bias ahead of expiry of February series derivative contract, economic survey and reform measures announced in the upcoming railway budget in the week ahead,” Jain said.

In addition, global cues, such as crude oil prices and the trends in foreign funds inflows will be keenly observed.

“Markets will continue to react to global cues with US home sales and GDP data expected next week,” Agarwal added.

Analysts forecast the continuation of the relief rally at the Indian bellwether indices. Short-covering, value buying and positive global cues had swelled the equity markets, during the just-concluded weekly trade.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (S&P Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) zoomed by 723.03 points or 3.14 percent to 23,709.15 points during the just concluded week.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 229.8 points or 3.29 percent to 7,210.75 points.

Global indices, too rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing the week with gains of 2.6 percent. London’s FTSE rose by 4.2 percent during the week under review.

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

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