Parliamentary approval for key bills buoy equity markets

Mumbai: Positive domestic cues, including parliamentary approval for key economic legislation, along with healthy inflows of foreign funds and value buying, buoyed the Indian equity markets during the just concluded weekly trade. The Indian equity markets started the week on an upside butceded some of the gains on the back of investors' anxiety over foreign capital outflows.  Nevertheless, the key indices managed to close the previous week on a positive note, even as the market breadth which indicates the health of the key indices turned negative. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 81.45 points or 1.05 percent to 7,814.90 points. Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE surged by 261.07 points or 1.03 percent to 25,489.57 points. During the week under review, the broader markets outperformed the barometer index. Both the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices rose by around two percent each.  Among the sector-based indices of the BSE -- the FMCG and IT index -- edged higher by two percent each. "The market was in uptrend during the week except on Friday," D.K. Aggarwal, chairman and managing director, SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.  "The passage of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 in Rajya Sabha and some gains in European market triggered the up move in domestic market." The Rajya Sabha had passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, which is seen as a key reform that will encourage entrepreneurship. However, the key indices plunged as an amended tax treaty between India and Mauritius spooked investors amid fears of a massive outflow of foreign capital from the equity markets. Investors were spooked after the government announced amendments to the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) with Mauritius, which is a major source of foreign investments into the Indian equity markets. "Volatility dominated most of the last week, as investors weighed the potential of FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) exit due to Mauritius tax amends and P-Note rules, with a positive earnings picture," Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.  Besides, negative macro-economic data which showed a rise in retail inflation and fall in factory output dented sentiments. Investors were disappointed after the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed a rise in April. The annual retail inflation for last month rose to 5.39 percent from 4.83 percent in March. The rise in the CPI has reduced the chances of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to further ease its key lending rates during the monetary policy review scheduled in June. According to Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, key benchmark indices registered losses amid volatility during the last trade session of the week on the back of CPI data. "The trigger for the losses was data showing acceleration in consumer price inflation in April 2016, which triggered speculation that the RBI would hold off on cutting rates at its policy review next month," Agarwal said. Apart from the CPI, investors' sentiments were subdued by a flat growth in the country's factory output for March. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March rose negligibly by 0.1 percent from a rise of two percent in February. "The big news was poor IIP numbers and rise in inflation. IIP numbers were bad for the month of March, after a mixed trend over last many months and a dip in manufacturing is clearly a very negative surprise," said Pankaj Sharma, head of equities for Equirus Securities.  "Though IIP data has been volatile over last few months, the trend is certainly not good for industrial recovery hopes." In addition, healthy buying activity by both domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and FIIs lifted the equity markets.  Data with the stock exchanges revealed that DIIs purchased scrip worth Rs.2,073.77 crore during the week under review, whereas FIIs bought stocks worth Rs.1,708.82 crore.  Figures from the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) showed that the FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) invested Rs.420.7 crore or $63.66 million in the equity markets from May 9-13.