Sensex Rises 200 pts, Nifty Near 17,300; Axis Bank Slips 3%

Indian indices opened higher on Friday to start the May F&O Series. At 09:16 IST, the Sensex is up 217.92 points or 0.38 per cent at 57738.98, and the Nifty up 60.40 points or 0.35 per cent at 17305.40. About 1436 shares have advanced, 463 shares declined, and 82 shares are unchanged. Investors will continue to track the geo-political developments and the rise in Covid-19 cases in India and overseas.

On the Sensex, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, M&M and Bharti Airtel led gains, rising up to 2 per cent.

Mohit Nigam, Head – PMS, Hem Securities, said: “Indian markets closed on a buoyant note on Thursday as investors shrugged off concerns about slowing growth, fears over interest rate hikes and geopolitical tensions, and kept picking up stocks, reacting to a slew of strong earnings updates. Today, the markets are likely to get flat-to-positive start as global cues remained positive overnight. Surprisingly, on Thursday, foreign portfolio investors turned net buyers of Indian equities after selling shares worth $3.6 billion so far in this month. According to the provisional data available on exchanges, FPIs bought shares worth $97.2 million on Thursday. Traders may take note of report that the commerce ministry has made a case for encouraging domestic manufacturing of 102 items like chemicals, electronic products and insulin injection as their share in the country’s total imports are high. Though, there may become cautiousness as rating agency ICRA said capacity utilisation in India is expected to dip in the first quarter of the current fiscal and is expected to gradually rise by the third quarter, and indicated that the economic recovery will be hurt by the Russia Ukraine tensions, however it will see recovery by the end of the year.”

“There will be some buzz in the power stocks with report that India’s peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day touched the all-time high of 204.65 GW amid ongoing heatwave sweeping through vast swathes of the country increasing demand for electricity. Fertilizer industry stocks will be in focus with report that India’s fertiliser subsidy bill is likely to shoot up by 55 per cent to record Rs 2.5 lakh crore this fiscal as the government will provide additional funds to make up for the spike in cost from higher import price. There will be some reaction in telecom stocks with telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement that the government is likely to hold 5G spectrum auction in early June. On technical front, Nifty50 may take support at 17,100 levels and may face resistance at 17,400 levels. In case of Bank Nifty immediate support and resistance levels are 36,000 and 36,700 level respectively,” Nigam said.

Global cues

Overnight, the US markets rallied strongly after robust earnings from Meta Platforms (Facebook parent) lifted beaten down tech shares. Dow Jones jumped 1.9 per cent, the S&P 500 surged 2.5 per cent and Nasdaq soared 3.1 per cent.

Financial markets in Japan are closed on Friday for a public holiday. Tokyo stocks had closed higher on Thursday as investors cheered solid corporate earnings and the Bank of Japan’s decision to stick with its monetary easing policies. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 1.75 percent, or 461.27 points, at 26,847.90, while the broader Topix index advanced 2.09 percent, or 38.86 points, to 1,899.62.

Hong Kong stocks barely moved at the open of trade Friday as traders struggled to track a strong rally on Wall Street, with tech firms in the spotlight after Apple and Amazon reported below-forecast earnings. The Hang Seng Index inched down 4.77 points to 20,271.40. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.36 percent, or 10.58 points, to 2,986.06, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange added 0.80 percent, or 14.44 points, to 1,822.91.

Meanwhile, oil prices bounced back as Russia continued its onslaught on Ukraine. Brent crude futures rose 2.2 per cent to $107.59 a barrel, and WTI oil was up 3.3 per cent at $105.36 a barrel.

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