While Nifty may dip a bit, the trend is up for now
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were to head higher and that Nifty has to stay above 7,300 for the rally to continue. The post-budget bull-run continued and the major indices of the Indian stock markets closed nearly 1.5% higher than Wednesday’s close, lifted by the perception that the national budget has some reforms push. Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index, capital goods index, industrials index and basic materials index were the prominent gainers among the BSE indices. Global cues from Tokyo and Singapore markets were also favourable.
The trends of the major indices during Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
Shares of metal companies were in focus with the Nifty Metal index surging 4.81% on the NSE after LMEX, a gauge of six metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME), hit its nearly four-month high on Wednesday. Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL), Vedanta, Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries and NMDC rallied more than 5% each. Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Jindal Saw, JSW Steel, National Aluminium Company (Nalco) and Bhushan Steel were up 2%-3% on the NSE.
India's services sector activity fell to a three-month low amidst subdued growth in new orders, a key macro-economic data showed on Thursday. The Nikkei Business Activity index fell to a three-month low of 51.4 in February, from 54.3 in January, adding to expectations of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India following the union budget for 2016-17 maintaining the fiscal deficit targets for this fiscal and the next, earlier this week. An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in the economic activity, below 50 an overall decrease. The survey said although new services orders continued to rise in February, the rate of expansion eased to the weakest since November 2015, as firms faced strong competition for new work during the month. Instead, the Nikkei India Composite PMI Output index, which tracks both manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 51.2 in February, from January's 11-month high of 53.3. "India's economic growth softened during February, with slowdown evident across both manufacturing and service sectors," said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey. "Demand conditions in the country appear to be weak, as indicated by lacklustre increase in new orders," De Lima said. "One centrepiece of the latest survey result is evidence of fading inflationary pressures which combined with a stuttering recovery and an increasingly challenging global backdrop open up room for a rate cut," De Lima said.
The government said on Wednesday that, along with the RBI, it will provide all resources to keep state-run banks in good health, reiterating, at the same time, the need for fiscal discipline to achieve economic targets. In a post-Budget 2016-17 meeting here with India Inc., Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also said he has taken the first "significant" step to resolve retrospective tax cases by installing a statutory mechanism to handle such disputes. "The RBI on Tuesday took a very positive move which helps further in recapitalisation of banks," he told representatives of industry associations Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry and Associated Chambers of Commerce at a post-Budget 2016-17 meeting. Lauding the RBI’s move to help banks besieged by stressed loans by easing rules, Jaitley said "whatever resources are required to keep PSU banks in good health, we are going to give". "We are also, after improving their health, going to look at possible consolidation and further reforms and while doing so, we have to maintain fiscal discipline," he added. The S & P Bankex stocks and Bank Nifty stocks are likely to stay in focus, as banking reforms are outlined by the FM and RBI.
CBI Director Anil Sinha on Wednesday gave an earful to chiefs of top banks and financial institutions for the crises and scams plaguing the country's banking and financial sectors. In a no-holds barred speech in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Central Bureau of Investigation chief said the crisis in the banking and financial system 'runs deep'. He said there was growing anguish among the public that while banks were strict on small/retail borrowers, the big borrowers and those who committed fraud on a large scale not only escaped the law but enjoyed the fruits of their crimes. "Something is seriously wrong. While bank loan defaults can happen due to business risk and reasons beyond the control of banks, borrowers and regulators, yet a significant part of the defaults are wilful and fraudulent. What causes greater concern is that a major part of the Non-Productive Assets and frauds are in large-value accounts," Sinha asserted as top banking and financial institutions' heads listened in rapt attention.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its approval to wind up the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) with immediate effect. An official release said the CCEA gave its approval to winding up of the NMCC as the council “has fulfilled the mandate for which it was constituted”. The NMCC was established in 2004 to provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue to energise and sustain the growth of manufacturing industry. It was set up as an autonomous organisation with its chairman in the rank of a cabinet minister and members drawn from government and industry. The manufacturing sector is likely to remain the government’s focus as part of the MakeinIndia policy.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below: