It was a short four-day week identical to the previous one, with a mid-week holiday on Wednesday. Markets were under pressure and lost on three of the four trading days. The BSESENSEX lost 953.58 points or 1.95% to close at 47,878.45 points while NIFTY lost 276.50 points or 1.89% to close at 14,341.35 points. The broader market saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 1.86%, 1.71% and 1.58% respectively. BSEMIDCAP lost 1.01% wile BSESMALLCAP lost a mere 0.06%. The top performing sector was BSEHEALTHCARE which gained 1.36% while the worst was BSEREALTY which was down 3.45%.
Dow Jones lost 174.41 points or 0.51% to close at 34,043.49 points. There seems to be confusion in the US markets and they seem to be alternating between losses and gains on alternate days as was witnessed last week. Markets on a daily basis saw negative 123 points on Monday, negative 256 points on Tuesday, positive 316 points on Wednesday, negative 321 points on Thursday and positive 228 points on Friday. The lifetime high was 34,257 points. Concern at this point of time is the imposition of capital gains tax by the Biden administration of a steep 43% which is likely in the coming days. The Indian Rupee lost 66 paise or 0.89% to close at Rs 75.01 to the US Dollar.
Results season continue to throw up impressive results so far. ICICI Bank reported more than doubling of its net profit for the full year 2020-2021, even as the fourth quarter saw the profits move up more than 2.6 times. Profit for the year was at Rs 16,192 crore versus 7,930 crore. Similarly for the fourth quarter it was at Rs 4,402 crore versus 1,221 crore.
Reliance Industries Limited would announce its results on Friday the 30th of April. This week would see the top companies of the benchmark indices almost completing announcing their results and then the results from the next bunch of companies which would also include the not so good results would begin to be announced.
Shares of Macrotech Developers Limited listed on the bourses on Monday the 19th of April. With mayhem on the streets, the share was quite resilient and closed with minor losses of Rs 22.85 or 4.70%. They gained during the remaining part of the week and closed at Rs 530.55, a gain of Rs 44.55 or 9.17%.
The situation on the Covid-19 front which had turned worrisome continues to dominate news across India. Maharashtra which was one of the worst affected states, seems to be improving with the number of daily cases dropping or not showing any further signs of increasing. While one cannot say with certainty that the worst is behind us, it can be said that things cannot get any worse from here on in some states. Secondly with the awareness now becoming clear to all, there seems to be better following of protocols and procedures. The world saw 14,70,91,849 patients, 31,13,284 deaths and 12,47,30,121 patients recovering. In India we saw 1,69,60,172 patients, 1,92,311 deaths and 1,40,85,110 patients recovering. Compared to the previous week the world saw, 57,67,943 new patients, 89,222 deaths and 48,02,430 people recovering. In India we saw, 21,72,063 new patients, 15,143 deaths and 12,75,467 patients recovering.
The week ahead sees April futures expiring on Thursday the 29th of April. Currently the series is ahead by a mere 16.45 or 0.11% points and could go in either direction. The week would see trading on all five days this week. This series could go in either direction at this point of time but looking at the market technical and sentiment, it appears that the bears would have an upper hand.
Readers would recall that over the last couple of weeks I was taking of a band of 48250-50500 on the BSESENSEX and 14250-14900 on the NIFTY. This band has now changed with lower values to read as 46500-49200 on BSESENSEX and 13750-14500 on NIFTY. This implies that markets would continue to be range bound but the range has moved down with markets losing their momentum and shifting their base downwards. It could also be said that their ability to hold on to gains has diminished and they are trading with a negative bias.
The week ahead would continue to be volatile and market movement would be influenced by global cues, results from companies and the Covid situation in India. Foreign institutional investors seem to be churning their portfolio and they no longer seem to be one-way buyers. In such a scenario it makes sense to be patient in the marketplace, sell on rallies and wait for sharp dips before cherry picking stocks. Be patient and bide your time for a bad day as markets are unlikely to run away anytime soon.
(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)