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Indian Indices Continue Uptrend
Fri, 12 Aug 11:30 am

After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian indices have continued to trade in the green. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the metal, FMCG, and capital goods stocks leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 192 points (up 0.7%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 51 points (up 0.6%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.6%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 66.81 to the US$.

Crude oil is witnessing buying interest today. The commodity surged on comments from the Saudi oil minister about potential action to stabilize prices. Further, the forecasts by International Energy Agency (IEA) that crude oil markets would rebalance in the next few months aided the rally in crude oil.

Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih lent more credibility to the idea of controlling the downtrend on oil prices. He stated that the OPEC might consider taking action if oil prices remained low. However, this is not the first time that OPEC has announced a potential action. There were seen two failures earlier this year by oil producers on the back of their inability to cap the production of crude oil.

The much-awaited OPEC meet went off with no decision on the freeze of crude supplies in June. This was seen as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members failed to change the oil output policy. Before this meeting, OPEC had failed to agree on a production cap during the summit in Doha earlier in April.

Along with the above announcement, the IEA stated that the world will consume less oil next year than previously thought. It estimated global oil demand growth to slow from 1.4 millions of barrels a day in 2016 to 1.2 million barrels a day in 2017. This was noted 100,000 barrels below its previous forecast.

At the time of writing, crude oil was trading at Rs 2,938 per barrel, up by around 0.9%. Do read what Richa Agarwal, research analyst at Equitymaster, has to say on the future prospects of crude oil prices.

To keep a regular tab on the movements in crude oil prices, you can read weekly market commentary from the Daily Profit Hunter team. Their weekly commentary tracks the developments in the global economy as well as stock, currency and commodity markets.

Moving on to the news from global markets... market participants have turned their attention to the upcoming US data on retail sales and consumer sentiment. This has also kept them busy by gauging the pace at which the US Fed will increase interest rates this year.

During the week, there were two sets of data announced for the US economy. First came the downbeat US productivity data. The US Labor Department said that productivity of US workers declined 0.5% during the second quarter. Though the 0.5% decline in non-farm productivity in the second quarter improved from a 0.6% decline registered in the first-quarter, it was not what economists expected. Expectations were set for productivity measure to only decline 0.4%. The data meant selling pressure for dollar and new safe-haven bets for the precious metal gold.

The above pessimism, however, ebbed after Fed comments during the end of the week. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said Thursday that the US central bank should raise rates this year. This, he stated, is because of improving labor market conditions and the likelihood that inflation is heading higher. Along with this, the upbeat economic data on Thursday came as a welcome breather. It was reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to 266,000 from 269,000 the previous week.

There, however, are many reservations for a 2016 rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Markets are still far from convinced the Fed can raise interest rates because of an uncertain global economic outlook. There are concerns about a slowing Chinese economy - the one which has been the major contributor to the global growth for a long time. Then we have the qualms of Brexit. There's also data due later today that will show the performance of retail sales, fixed investments, and industrial output. How the market will react to these data remains to be seen ahead.

One of our recent editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp provides some insights on the giant economic cauldron that is in the play at present.

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Mar 19, 2018 (Close)