Mumbai: Indian equity markets slid into the bearish zone as investors booked profits after a week of substantial gains. Despite that, a key index made record highs during the truncated trade week ended May 5.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) scaled a new closing high of 9,359.90 points on May 4 and an intra-day high of 9,374.55 on May 5.
However, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled below the psychologically important 30,000-level after reclaiming that mark during the week.
In the past week, the S&P BSE Sensex fell by around 60 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 29,858.80 points, while the NSE Nifty lost 18.75 points or 0.20 per cent to wind up the week’s trade at 9,285.30 points.
During the week, the BSE mid-cap index fell 0.54 per cent — underperforming the Sensex — while the BSE small-cap index shed 0.1 per cent.
“The week gone by witnessed markets sliding down, but the weekly fall was low at 0.2 per cent for Nifty. It was the first week of loss after a sharp rise last week. Profit booking emerged after indices hit record highs in the recent past,” Deepak Jasani, Head — Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said.
“This week saw sideways to minor upward bias till Thursday, but Friday’s session witnessed a sharp fall by around 0.8-0.9 per cent, which raised a concern with regards to near-term performance of the markets.”
According to market observers, during the week gone by, the global markets awaited the outcome of the US Federal Open Market Committee meet.
“As expected the US Fed kept interest rates unchanged but downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth and emphasised the strength of the labour market,” D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, SMC Investments and Advisors, said.
“Meanwhile, European stock markets moved higher as French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron was viewed as the winner of a crunch election debate ahead of Sunday’s run-off vote.”
Besides, the key indices gave up gains due to a slump in global crude oil prices and persistent outflow of foreign funds.
“Crude oil prices languished during the week and the futures were at the lowest level since November last year. Precious metal was also under pressure — gold prices slumped to a six-week low mark during the week as the US dollar strengthened and touched a six-week high level,” said Vijay Singhania, Director, Trade Smart Online.
“Sentiment was hit after service sector activity showed its slowest increase in output in last three month.”
Challenging market conditions
The Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.2 in April, which revealed that India’s services sector continued to expand but at a slower pace due to challenging market conditions and the after-effects of the demonetisation measure.
“State-owned banks were top performers of the week after the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for resolution of the NPA (non-performing assets) crisis facing public sector banks,” Singhania added.
During the week, the Indian rupee weakened against the US dollar by 13 paise to 64.37-38 from last week’s close of 64.24-25.
Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) offloaded equities worth Rs16.8 billion, or $261.70 million, during May 2-5.
Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs20.9 billion, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs1818.7 billion during the week.