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Sensex plunges 1,011 pts, Nifty below 9,000: 5 factors weighing on D-St

The Nifty50 fell below the swing low of 9,091 recorded on April 17, which fuelled selling pressure. The next big support for the index is at 9,000-8,800.

April 21, 2020 / 05:03 PM IST

Crude oil price crash, along with weak global cues, led to a sharp selloff in markets across the globe, including India. The S&P BSE Sensex fell more than 1,000 points to breach 31,000 on the downside, while the Nifty50 closed below 9,000 levels.

At closing, the Nifty50 was down 280.40 points or 3.03 percent to 8,981.45 and the BSE Sensex fell 1,011.29 points or 3.20 percent to 30,636.71.

Sectorally, the selling pressure was visible in Banks, Auto, Metals, IT and Realty stocks, whereas the buying was seen in Pharma.

Here is a list of Top 5 factors that could be weighing on D-Street:

Crude oil crash


Crash in crude oil prices would be a positive for India, which is a net importer of the fuel, but it also signifies a fall in global demand. Fall in crude prices resulted in a knee-jerk reaction in equities across the globe and fuelled safe-haven buying.

“It's a grim situation playing out in the oil markets, grabbing eyeballs of the entire investor fraternity and defying logic. The absolute collapse of WTI prices is primarily owing to the expiry of May WTI contracts, alongside the significant demand destruction due to lockdowns in several countries and supply glut in oil markets,” Sugandha Sachdeva, VP-Metals, Energy & Currency Research, Religare Broking Ltd told Moneycontrol.

The US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) May contract’s collapse into negative territory is a consequence of the government’s refusal to regulate oil production and impose mandatory cuts, despite calls to do so during the G20 recent meeting that had led to historic cuts of 9.7 million bpd by the OPEC+ alliance.

“The negative price means that producers are willing to pay a certain amount of money-- $37.63/bbl at Monday’s close--to have the oil taken away from them, that the excess supplies have exceeded the capacity to store them,” Yaw Yan Chong, Director, Oil Research (Asia), Refinitiv, told Moneycontrol.

“This is a consequence of the still-heavy production coming out of the US despite the sharp fall in demand globally and specifically in the US, with storage tanks in the country filling fast and running out of capacity.”

WTI crude for May delivery was up $39 in thin trade at $1.37 a barrel after settling down at a discount of $37.63 a barrel in the previous session, said a Reuters report.

Weak global markets

Indian market started off on a weak note, with most Asian markets trading in the red following negative closing on Wall Street overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, China's Shanghai Composite, South Korea's Kospi and Australia's ASX 200 were down 1-2.5 percent.

Rise in COVID-19 cases, ‘longer’ lockdown possible

India’s count of confirmed coronavirus infections rose to 18,600 as on April 20, a jump of 1,540 cases in a single day. The number of deaths has risen to 590, according to data from the health and family welfare ministry.

Global brokerage firm UBS is of the view that the lockdown in urban areas may be longer than May 3. If the lockdown extends, it would have an adverse impact on India's growth rate.

"As per latest IMF projections, global GDP is likely to shrink by 3% in CY20 led by -5.9% degrowth in US and -7.5% in Euro Area. Based on current status of global lockdown, economies may report very poor GDP numbers for the June quarter. If the Covid-19 situation prolongs or there is a second wave of the pandemic, then it will cause further slowdown," Rusmik Oza, Executive Vice President, Head of Fundamental Research at Kotak Securities told Moneycontrol.

"Developed markets have recovered sharply on the back of aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. However, the global impact on businesses and earnings is still to be seen and will come forth during the result season.”

If the world was heading for a recession equal to or bigger than the one in 2008, then “we should brace for more intermittent down phases in the coming months”, Oza said.

Muted March quarter for India Inc

Results from top two bellwethers-- TCS and Infosys-- failed to revive the investor sentiment. Infosys management suspended both revenue and margin guidances, citing COVID-19 induced disruption.

At a time when GDP growth is likely to fall under 2 percent, many fear downward revision to earnings estimates for FY21/22 amid lockdown, which has brought economic activity to a halt.

“As per our latest projections, we expect India’s FY21 GDP growth to be 0.4% (down from ~4.9% in FY20E). The YoY likely fall in GDP will be mainly due to the de-growth in industrial activity (-3.6%) and within the industrial activity, it will be the sharp fall in manufacturing activity (-6.6%),” Oza said.

“As of now we are expecting FY20 & FY21 Nifty earnings to grow by 6% and 6.7%, respectively. Nonetheless, we see high downward risk to our FY21E with further downgrades in earnings of banks and oil & gas sectors.”

Technical view

The Nifty50 fell below the swing low of 9,091 recorded on April 17, which fuelled selling pressure. The next big support for the index is placed at 8,800.

Experts feel as the Nifty has broken below 9,000, one can use sell on rally strategy till it bounces back above 9,300 levels.

"To continue the current momentum of higher top and higher bottom, Nifty needs to hold the level of 8,800. The strategy should be to create short sell positions if Nifty bounces to 9,050/9,070 levels," Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities said.

A break of 8,900 would result in a quick decline for Nifty up to 8,800, he added.

Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by experts on Moneycontrol.com are their own and not those of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.
Kshitij Anand is the Editor Markets at Moneycontrol.
first published: Apr 21, 2020 10:56 am

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