Indian share markets toast US interest rate status quo

Mumbai: Relieved by the status quo in US interest rates, Indian share markets opened higher on Friday and flared up further, overshooting most Asian peers, as investors saw momentary respite from a potential shift of global funds away from emerging economies. The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened on Friday at 26,130.36 points against Wednesday’s close at 25,963.97 points — Thursday being a festive holiday.

Around two hours into trading, the index was quoting at 26,390.36 points, with a gain of 426.39 points or 1.64 percent. At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the trend was similar. The broader 50-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 7,899.15 points on Wednesday was quoting at 8,028 points, with a gain of 128.95 points or 1.63 percent. Both the Sensex and Nifty surpassed the psychologically-important levels of 26,000 points and 8,000 points, respectively.

The gains were also broad based. But for six stocks, all 30 shares that go into the Sensex basket were trading in the green. Overall, out of 2,202 scrips that were trading on the Mumbai bourse, 1,642 of them advanced, 482 declined, while 78 remained unchanged. Banking and realty stocks were in favour, as their sector-specific indices were up 3.31 percent and 23.76 percent, respectively. Nonetheless, all the 12 sectoral indices were trading in the green.

“The trend-deciding level for the day is 25,929 and 7,889 levels,” financial services firm Angel Broking said in a pre-open comment, referring to the Sensex and the Nifty, respectively. “If Nifty trades above this in the first half-an-hour then we may witness a further rally up to 26,042-26,119 points and 7,924-7,949 points. But if they trade below 25,929 or 7,889 levels in the first half-an-hour, then they may correct towards 25,851-25,739 and 7,864-7,828 levels.”

Till late Thursday, there was some fear of a rate hike in the US, which could have potentially seen a flight of capital from emerging markets like India to the US. In fact, during August and September, foreign funds have been net sellers of Indian equities worth Rs.20,225 crore. Even as the global financial markets speculated over when the US central bank will end its zero-interest rate policy, the Fed Chair Janet Yellen instead opted for a status quo. While she said the US recovery was solid, concern was expressed over the global economic situation.

The reaction was mixed in the Asian markets. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell around 1.4 percent during late-morning trade, while Tokyo’s broader Topix was down 1.8 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was fluctuating back and forth around the positive-negative territory initially. Later, it rallied by 0.40 percent. While Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.42 percent, Korea’s Kospi was quoting higher by 0.56 percent around the time when trading was on for 45 minutes in Indian bourses.

In the US earlier, trading was marked by sharp volatility as blue-chip stocks fell, bond prices rose and the dollar posted its steepest single-day loss in a month against a basket of currencies, as the investor mood turned sullen after the Fed’s rate status quo and concerns over global economy. All major indices took a beating — 0.39 percent for Dow Jones industrial Average, 0.26 percent for S&P 500 and 0.1 percent for the Nasdaq Composite. The dollar index, measuring the greenback against six currencies, fell 1.1 percent.

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