Another lackluster trading session ended on a flat note for the main Indian stock indices. For the second consecutive day, the Indian markets were seen struggling for direction. Overnight gains in the US and firm Asian markets lifted the benchmark indices at open. SEBI's new norms to add depth to the Indian capital markets and boost the mutual fund industry also had a positive effect on sentiment early on.
However, as the day progressed, the key indices pared gains and were unable to capitalize on the strong opening in the wake of the Government releasing CAG reports in the Parliament.
Realty, Power, Metals and Capital Goods indices were the major laggards, while FMCG, IT, Telecom and Auto stocks bucked the negative trend.
The Mid-Cap and Small-Cap indices remained almost unchanged.
The Sensex ended at 17,622, gaining by 34 points over the previous close. It had earlier touched a day’s high of 17,801 and a day’s low of 17,622. It opened at 17,701.
The NSE Nifty ended at 5366 up 3 points. The index hit an intra-day high of 5400 and an intra-day low of 5341. The Nifty had opened at 5368.
The India VIX ended at 15.73 up 0.25%. It opened at 15.69, hit an intra-day high of 16.02 and an intra-day low of 15.21.
Indian indices closed nearly flat on Friday, but managed to eke out modest gains on the week. The BSE Sensex retreated nearly 200 points from the day’s high while the NSE Nifty surrendered almost 60 points from session’s peak. Earlier, the Sensex had crossed the 17,800 mark while the Nifty almost kissed the 5,400 level.
The intraday fall in the frontline indices came after the Government tabled the controversial CAG reports on coal block allocation, New Delhi airport and UMPPs.
"The undercurrent was affected amid concerns about the possible political fallout of the three CAG reports. It may be recalled that the Congress-led alliance at the Centre has been besieged by a number of scams, including one linked to the controversial allocation of new telecom permits in early 2008. Corruption has been one of the major bugbears of UPA II, leading to mass protests by social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Some experts say that the series of corruption cases will hurt the prospects of the Congress-led coalition in the 2014 Lok Sabha election," says Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
The Indian markets advanced for a third straight week but the Nifty has failed to confirm a breakout above 5370 levels, which turned out to be a multi-year resistance line.
However, the short-term trend has been positive after the Nifty managed to sustain above 5270 for the second consecutive week.
The earlier resistance will act as a strong support. For the coming week, the outlook for the Indian markets remains neutral. Much would depend on the mood of the global markets.
Globally, risk tolerance improved after German chancellor Angela Merkel backed proposed measures by the ECB to contain the long-running sovereign debt crisis. US and European markets ended near session highs overnight while the Asian indices finished mostly positive today. The Chinese market was a little subdued though. European stock markets opened higher today, led by strength in banks.