Key developments that will drive the markets this week

Let us look at all important news that could impact market sentiment in the week ahead.

May 17, 2021 07:05 IST India Infoline News Service

On Friday, benchmark indices closed flat amid concerns over the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19. While Sensex ended 41 points higher at 48,732, Nifty fell 18 points to 14,677. Let us look at the key developments this week.



Covid-19
 
India’s Covid-19 active case count has decreased to 36,18,458, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 16.98%, the Union health ministry said on Sunday. Some Indian states said on Sunday they would extend COVID-19 lockdowns to help contain the pandemic, which has killed more than 270,000 people in the country, as the federal government pledged to boost vaccine supplies. The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in India has risen more than 4,000 for the fourth time in a week, with Sunday's 311,170 new infections representing the lowest single-day rise in more than three weeks.

The northern states of Delhi and Haryana extended lockdowns, slated to end on Monday, by a week. The southern state of Kerala, which has previously announced a lockdown extension, also introduced stricter restrictions in some districts on Saturday. It warned that people not wearing masks where required or violating quarantine protocols faced being arrested, with drones used to help identify violators.

The Indian government said it would send an additional 51 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines to states over the next three days. Even though India is the world's largest vaccine-producing nation, only 14.16cr people have received at least one vaccine dose, or roughly 10% of its population, according to health ministry data.
 
Q4 earnings
 
This week will see a flurry of companies releasing their quarterly results. Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, Hindalco Industries, State Bank of India, Shree Cement, Indian Oil Corporation, IndiaBulls Housing Finance, JK Tyre, Havells India, JK Lakshmi Cement, JSW Steel, United Spirits, are among the many companies that will declare quarterly earnings next week.
 
FPIs net sellers
 
Overseas investors pulled out Rs 6,452 crore so far in the month of May from Indian markets amidst toppling investor sentiment in the wake of the second of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) pulled out Rs6,427cr from equities and Rs 25cr from the debt segment between May 1-14, according to depositories data. It needs to be seen whether foreign investors will break this pattern in the coming days. This hinges on how well the Indian economy can get back on the saddle after the devastation wrecked by the ongoing pandemic.
 
Macroeconomic data
 
The Wholesale price index (WPI) inflation data for April is scheduled to be released on Monday. In March, inflation rate based on the wholesale price index (WPI) jumped to 8-year high to 7.39%. As per government data released last week, India’s index of industrial production (IIP) shot up 22.4% in March, while retail inflation eased to a three-month low of 4.29% in April.
 
US Stocks
 
U.S. stocks closed higher Friday despite the weaker than expected retail sales for the month of April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 360.68 points Friday, or 1.1%, to 34,382.13. The S&P 500 gained 61.35 points, or 1.5%, to 4,173.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged about 304.99 points, or 2.3%, to 13,429.98.

Early Friday, data showed sales at U.S. retailers were unchanged in April after a blockbuster 9.8% gain in the prior month when the government sent out $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans. Sales had soared more than 10% in March after the government sent out a third batch of financial aid checks to most Americans. While a slowdown in retail spending was expected in April, few on Wall Street predicted such a tepid result. Softer retail sales growth in April follows recent reports that show the U.S. added a paltry 266,000 jobs last month while inflation rose to the highest level in 13 years.

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