The Sensex index ended in the red on Monday, extending losses for the second straight day after see-sawing between gains and losses in a volatile session.
A rise in crude oil prices weighed on domestic stocks earlier in the session, while a strong services activity reading helped Indian shares recover from the day’s lows.
The BSE Sensex index fell a modest 33.9 points to close at 62,834.60, while the broader NSE Nifty index rose marginally higher, 0.03 per cent, to end at 18,701.05.
“Positive services PMI data could have triggered the recovery from lower levels in intraday trade,” Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research for Retail at Kotak Services, told Reuters.
A business survey showed that in November, India’s services activity rose at its fastest rate in three months thanks to strong demand, driving up company confidence to its highest level since January 2015.
However, the study also revealed that businesses had to raise prices at the fastest rate in almost five and a half years as a result of high input costs, which could increase total inflation.
That data comes when the RBI embarked on its 3-day monetary policy meeting on Monday, with the decision to be announced on Wednesday.
Risk sentiment improved in the broader global equity markets, with the MSCI’s largest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan rising to a three-month high after rallying 3.7 per cent last week.
But a 1.4 per cent increase in oil prices, which is concerning because India is one of the biggest consumers of the commodity, increased the pressure on the day on Indian assets.
Volatility in markets is also likely to persist ahead of state election results due later this week, as traders attempt to “manage their positions,” added Kotak’s Mr Chouhan.
But as the direction of American rate policy hampered potential gains in European equities and US futures, early excitement on efforts by China to further ease COVID restrictions faded.
Last week’s US jobs report was hotter than anticipated, and an increase in average hourly earnings signal to new inflation concerns that are troubling markets.
“We still think Treasuries have no business in trading in the 3.5 per cent area if the Fed is about to hike rates to almost 5 per cent,” ING Groep NV strategists including Antoine Bouvet wrote in a note, according to Bloomberg.
After the S&P 500 index rose above its 200-day moving average last week, Morgan Stanley strategists predict that the downtrend that has been in place since the year’s beginning will continue.
Investors would be better off taking profits, according to Michael Wilson, one of the most outspoken detractors of the US stock market, according to Bloomberg.
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