Stock Market Today: Nifty and Sensex set to open lower on Monday

Feb 26, 2024
  • India’s Nifty and Sensex opened Monday in the red after Friday’s subdued close.
  • Nifty and Sensex clinched weekly gains but public sector stocks were a drag on Friday.
  • All eyes now remain on US PCE inflation data and India’s Q3 GDP due later this week.

The Sensex 30 and Nifty 50, India’s key benchmark indices, started Monday on the back foot, taking the lead from mixed trading in Asian stock markets. Risk sentiment remains in a weak spot so far, as markets weigh renewed tensions between China and Taiwan. Chinese indices decline 0.50% to 1.50%.

Indian indices also followed negative Gift Nifty futures.

At the time of writing, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty 50 and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex 30 are trading 0.27% lower on the day at 22,155.05 and 72,948.03 respectively.

Stock market news

  • In Monday’s early dealings, top gainers on Nifty are Powergrid, L&T, Cipla, Adani Enterprises and Dr Reddys. Meanwhile, the top losers are Titan, HDFC Life Insurance, LTMindtree, Asian Paints and TechMahindra.
  • Stocks to watch out for: Kotak Mahindra bank, as Zurich Insurance are expected to buy a 70% stake in the bank’s general insurance arm for INR 55.60 billion upfront.
  • Reliance Industries Company signed a binding pact with Walt Disney to merge their media operations in India, Bloomberg reported citing sources.
  • Alembic Pharmaceuticals Company fully resumed its manufacturing operations at Sikkim plant.
  • Sanofi India Company reported a rise in profit in the December quarter, recommended a final dividend of INR117 per share.
  • China’s Commerce Ministry said on Monday, “the US falsely claims that China has created ‘overcapacity’, which fully reflects the US side’s unilateralism and hegemonic behavior.”
  • Separately, China’s authorities said that the Fujian Coast Guard is boosting patrols in waters near Taiwan’s Kinmen islands “to strengthen law enforcement inspections in key areas.”
  • The US stock markets closed flat to lower on Friday. US stock futures are trading 0.15% lower on the day, at the press time.
  • Last week, Nifty and Sensex traders weighed mixed Indian and US preliminary business PMI data and a hawkish Minutes of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) February meeting.
  • Data published by HSBC Bank showed on Thursday that India’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ (PMI) Index dropped from 56.9 in January to 56.7 in February. Meanwhile, the Services PMI rose to 62.0 in the same period vs. 61.8 previous. The Composite PMI stood at 61.5, as against the previous reading of 61.2.
  • In the RBI Minutes, Governor Shaktikanta Das stated that ‘’at this juncture, monetary policy must remain vigilant and not assume that our job on the inflation front is over. We must remain committed to successfully navigating the ‘last mile’ of disinflation which can be sticky.”
  • S&P Global Manufacturing PMI improved to 51.5 from 50.7 in February, while S&P Global Services PMI edged lower to 51.3 from 52.5.
  • Attention now turns toward the US PCE inflation data and India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data due later this week.
  • Markets are currently pricing in just about a 20% chance that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) could begin easing rates in May, much lower than an over 90% chance a month ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. For the June meeting, the probability for a rate cut now stands at about 70%, down from 77% seen a few days ago.

Nifty 50 FAQs

The Nifty 50, or simply Nifty, is the most commonly followed stock index in India. It was launched in 1996 by the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). It plots the weighted average share price of 50 of the largest Indian corporations, offering investors comprehensive exposure to 13 sectors of the economy. Each corporation’s weighting is based on its “free-float capitalization”, or the value of all its shares readily available for trading.

The Nifty is a composite so its value is dependent on the performance of the companies that make up the index, as revealed in their quarterly and annual results. Another factor is government policies, such as when in 2016 the government decided to demonetize 500 and 1000 Rupee banknotes. This led to a temporary cash shortage which negatively impacted the Nifty. The level of interest rates set by the Reserve Bank of India is a further factor as it determines the cost of borrowing. Climate change, pandemics and natural disasters are also drivers.

The Nifty 50 was launched on April 22, 1996 at a base level of 1,000. Its highest recorded level to date is 22,097 achieved on January 15, 2024 (this is being written in Feb 2024). The index first closed above the 10,000 level on October 17, 2017. The Nifty recorded its biggest daily decline on March 23, 2020 during the Covid pandemic, when it fell 1,125 points or 12.37%. The Nifty’s biggest gain in a single day occurred on May 18, 2009, when it rose 651 points after the results of the Indian elections.

Major corporations in the Nifty 50 include HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen and Toubro, ITC Ltd, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd and Kotak Mahendra Bank.

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