Stock Market Today: Top 10 things to know before the market opens

Feb 1, 2024

The benchmark Sensex and Nifty indices are likely to open on a flat-to-positive note on February 1 as trends in the GIFT Nifty indicate a firm start for the broader index with a loss of 35 points.

Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty rallied a percent each on January 31, aided by across-the-board buying on the budget eve and ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting outcome.

At close, the Sensex was up 612.21 points, or 0.86 percent, at 71,752.11, and the Nifty was up 203.60 points, or 0.95 percent, at 21,725.70.

The pivot point calculator indicates that the Nifty is likely to take immediate support at 21,527 followed by 21,458 and 21,346 levels, while on the higher side, it may see immediate resistance at 21,750 followed by 21,819 and 21,931 levels.

Stay tuned to Moneycontrol to find out what happens in the currency and equity markets today. We have collated a list of important headlines across news platforms, which could impact Indian as well as international markets.

GIFT Nifty

Trends in the GIFT Nifty indicate a firm start for the broader index in India, with a gain of 35 points. The Nifty futures were trading around the 21,822 level.

Trade setup for Thursday: Top 15 things to know before the opening bell

US Markets

US stocks tumbled on the last trading day in January after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady while dashing hopes for interest rate cut as soon as March.

The three major US stock indices were already weighed down by weakness in tech and tech-adjacent megacap stocks the day after disappointing Alphabet results.

All three extended losses after the Fed’s announcement and Chair Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference. The S&P 500 closed with its steepest daily loss since September 21. All three indices still notched gains for the month.

As expected, the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) left its key policy rate unchanged at 5.25-5.50 percent against a backdrop of gradually cooling inflation and a resilient economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 317.01 points, or 0.82 percent, to 38,150.30, the S&P 500 lost 79.32 points, or 1.61 percent, to 4,845.65 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 345.88 points, or 2.23 percent, to 15,164.01.

Asian Markets

Asian markets were trading mixed in the early trade on Thursday with Nikkei index down 0.7 percent and Kospi index up 0.8 percent.

US Fed keeps rates steady

Treading on expected lines, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the US Federal Reserve Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25 to 5.5 percent. This is the fourth straight meeting when the Fed has kept rates unchanged.

“The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance. The economic outlook is uncertain, and the Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks,” the Fed said in its statement.

The Fed believes that the inflation has come down from its highs but “remains elevated”. It added that unless there are clear indication that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent, it will not be “appropriate to reduce the target range.”

GST collections in January at Rs 1.72 lakh crore, second-highest ever

The government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections rose to Rs 1.72 lakh crore in January, according to provisional data released by the Ministry of Finance on January 31.

At Rs 1.72 lakh crore, the January GST collections is the second-highest ever and is 4.4 percent higher than the Rs 1.65 lakh crore collected in December 2023. It also takes the average monthly collection in 2023-24 to Rs 1.67 lakh crore.

Compared to the GST collected till 5pm on January 31, 2023 – or Rs 1.56 lakh crore – the provisional number for the current month is 10.4 percent higher. However, when compared to the final figure of Rs 1.58 lakh crore for January 2023, the GST collected as of 5pm on January 31 is up 9.3 percent.

India’s core sector growth slumps to 14-month low of 3.8% in December

India’s eight core sectors posted a growth of 3.8 percent in December, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on January 31.

At 3.8 percent, the growth in India’s eight key infrastructure industries – coal, crude oil, steel, cement, electricity, fertilisers, refinery products and natural gas – in the last month of 2023 is the lowest in 14 months.

In November 2023, core sector growth had printed in at 7.8 percent. The commerce ministry, on January 31, revised this figure slightly up to 7.9 percent. The output of the eight core sectors had grown by 8.3 percent in December 2022.

In April-December, the output of India’s eight core industries was 8.1 percent higher year-on-year, the same as in the first nine months of 2022-23.

RBI asks Paytm Payments Bank to stop onboarding new customers

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 31 barred Paytm Payments Bank from onboarding new customers with immediate effect.

The central bank said a Comprehensive System Audit report and subsequent compliance validation report of the external auditors revealed persistent non-compliances and continued material supervisory concerns in the bank, warranting further supervisory action.

No further deposits or credit transactions or top ups shall be allowed in any customer accounts, prepaid instruments, wallets, FASTags, NCMC cards, etc. after February 29, 2024, other than any interest, cashbacks, or refunds which may be credited anytime, RBI said.

The RBI, however, clarified that the withdrawal or utilisation of balances by the lender’s customers from their accounts including savings bank accounts, current accounts, prepaid instruments, FASTags, National Common Mobility Cards, etc. are to be permitted without any restrictions, upto their available balance.

India’s April-December fiscal deficit at Rs 9.82 lakh crore, 55% of FY24 target

The Central government’s fiscal deficit widened to Rs 9.82 lakh crore in April-December from Rs 9.07 lakh crore in April-November, data released by the Controller General of Accounts on January 31 showed.

At Rs 9.82 lakh crore, fiscal deficit for the first nine months of the current financial year accounts for 55.0 percent of the full-year target of Rs 17.87 lakh crore.

The fiscal deficit in April-December 2022 was 59.8 percent of the target for 2022-23.


The dollar index pared losses Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and dropped a longstanding reference to possible further hikes in borrowing costs.

The dollar index was last flat on the day at 103.39. The euro was last down 0.16% on the day at $1.08275. The greenback pared losses against the yen and was last down 0.66% on the day at 146.72 yen.

Gold Prices

Gold prices reversed course and edged lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pushed back strongly against expectations of a U.S. rate cut by March.

Spot gold eased 0.1% at $2,034.37 per ounce by 03:10 p.m. ET (2010 GMT) after rising as much as 1% earlier in the session. Bullion was down 1.3 percent this month but have held above the $2,000 per ounce psychological level so far this year.

US gold futures settled 0.8 percent higher at $2067.4.


Oil prices settled lower on Wednesday, pressured by low economic activity in leading crude importer China and a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories as producers ramped up output following frigid weather this month.

Brent crude futures for March, which expire on Wednesday, settled down $1.16, or about 1.4 percent, to $81.71 a barrel while the more actively traded April contract settled down $1.89, or about 2.3 percent, at $80.55.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled down $1.97, or roughly 2.5 percent, to $75.85. Both benchmarks fell by more than $2 a barrel earlier in the session.

FII and DII data

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 1,660.72 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased Rs 2,542.93 crore worth of stocks on January 31, provisional data from the NSE showed.

Stocks under F&O ban on NSE

The NSE has added SAIL to the F&O ban list for February 1, while retaining Zee Entertainment Enterprises to the said list.

With inputs from Reuters and other agencies

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