NIFTY opened the truncated week on 28th February at 16,482 and ended at 16,245 on 4th March. Amid the geopolitical tensions, the Indian benchmark index extended in the red for a fourth consecutive week. The index lost 1.4% during the week. The next support and resistance levels for the index would be 16,134 and 16,937 respectively. The RSI (14) of 35 indicates the index is in the oversold zone.
Among the sectoral indices, METAL (+7.0%), and IT (+2.1%) were the only gainers during the week. AUTO (-9.2%), FINANCIAL SERVICES (-5.6%), and BANK (-5.6%) led the losers.
- Investors’ appetite was rattled by the intensifying Russia-Ukraine conflict, which obscured a much better-than-expected monthly jobs data in the USA. After Russia seized a Ukrainian nuclear plant and expanded its attack on numerous cities on Friday, all three major US indices — the Nasdaq 100, Dow Jones, and S&P 500 – closed the week in the red. As a result, investors shifted their portfolios away from risky assets and toward bonds and gold.
- Oil prices soared to multi-year highs as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalated and buyers shied away from supplies from the world’s second-largest crude exporter. Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate finished the week at USD 118 and 115 a barrel, up 20.5 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.
- For the month of February-22, the auto OEMs reported monthly volumes. With the easing of supply chain limitations and fresh launches, the demand for passenger vehicles (PVs) has remained strong. The market for 2Ws was muted, but premium 2Ws are seeing increased demand as chip availability improves. A modest increase in CV demand is being aided by robust demand from the infrastructure and construction sectors. Due to a high base and an extended rain that damaged the Kharif crop, tractor sales were hurt. In the medium term, the auto sector may benefit from improved rural sentiment and a healthy Rabi season.
- Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, informed the US Congress on Wednesday that he intends to propose a quarter-point interest rate rise at the Fed meeting on 16th He hinted that, depending on the effects of the Ukraine war and other circumstances, the Fed may be willing to raise rates even further.
- The Indian manufacturing sector’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 54.9 in February from 54 in January. A reading above 50 is indicative of expansion in activities. Though there has been an improvement in manufacturing activity in February, input cost pressures remain a concern. Indians are facing the prospect of higher petrol and diesel prices once voting for the state election concludes.
- The foreign institutional investors (FII) continued to be sellers and sold equities worth Rs 225,630 mn while Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued to be buyers and bought equities worth Rs 167,430
Things to watch out for next week
- The report on US inflation, which is due on Thursday, will be closely watched by investors. Consumer prices increased at the quickest rate in over four decades from January to February. The future for US markets is clouded by geopolitical tensions, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has moderated expectations for how swiftly the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy in the months ahead.
- Continuing FII selling, increasing prices of oil, food grains, and metals, and declining Rupee are leading Indian equity markets down. On Monday evening, polls for five states will close. We expect retail prices of petrol to increase substantially immediately. Exit polls on state elections may drive the sentiments in the markets before the results are announced on 10th March.
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