New Delhi [India] : Indian stock indices edged marginally lower at the opening bell on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous session.
The marginal fall could be primarily attributed to continued profit booking coupled with the latest selling of shares by foreign portfolio investors.
At the time of filing this report, Sensex was at 70,874.21, down 265.69 points or 0.37 per cent, while Nifty was at 21,462.50 points, down 59.60 points or 0.28 per cent. Among the widely-tracked Nifty 50 companies, 32 advanced and the rest 18 declined this morning.
Domestic investors are now bracing for a busy week with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget proposals and other macro-economic guidance, which will be keenly tracked. The Union Finance Minister will present the interim union budget on Thursday.
The interim budget typically takes care of the fiscal needs of the intervening period until a government is formed after the Lok Sabha polls.
Besides, the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s first policy meeting of the year 2024, scheduled for Wednesday (midnight Indian time), will also be on the investors’ radar.
‘The Fed decision tonight and the interim Budget tomorrow will weigh on markets in the near-term. Global markets will be keenly watching the Fed comment on the timeline and quantum of rate cuts. The first rate cut is likely to come in June 2024,’ said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.
‘The domestic market will be focused on the interim Budget particularly on any proposals regarding taxation of investments relating to the capital market. The fiscal deficit and its glide path also is important since growth with stability is hugely important from the market perspective. Stock specific movements are likely in response to sectoral allocations in the Budget.’
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors have been aggressively selling Indian stocks, turning net sellers in the Indian equity market so far in January 2024, after making a beeline to accumulate domestic stocks during the past two months–November and December.
The data available from the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) showed that the FPIs sold Indian stocks worth Rs 23,929 crore in January. In December, they accumulated stocks worth Rs 66,135 crore.
‘The recent price action shows indecisiveness among the participants despite the favorable global cues and we feel the prevailing tone may continue. Meanwhile, traders should focus on stock selection and maintain positions on both sides,’ said Ajit Mishra, SVP – Technical Research, Religare Broking.