Covid surge, yield spike to dampen Indian equities

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By Rohit Vaid
Mumbai, March 21 (IANS)
Surge in the Covid cases as well as global bond yields might dampen the key equity indices next week, analysts contended.
Accordingly, market watchers, said that the upswing seen late on last Friday on account of rejig in international index weights might not sustain in the coming week.
“Nifty has showed remarkable bounce from the intraday lows on March 19. One will have to watch as to whether this uppishness continues early next week even after the FTSE rebalancing is done with,”
“US Bond yield moves will be one of the important factors to track. 14,919 remains a strong resistance for the Nifty while 14,529 could be a support.”
Last week, the key domestic indices posted losses amid high volatility as markets closed in the red on 4 out of 5 trading sessions.
Factors such as resurgence of Covid-19 cases in various part of the country made investors jittery.
“The Federal Reserve could remain a source of angst for markets in the week ahead, with chairman Jerome Powell scheduled to testify twice before Congress and more than a dozen other Fed speeches expected,”
Besides, a contraction in IIP data for January and spike in India’s inflation had also triggered selling.
A sharp increase in the US treasury yields and firm crude oil prices did not help investors’ sentiment.
“The market may remain volatile in the near term given concerns over rising bond yields, increasing commodity prices and risk of increase in inflation,” said Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
“In addition, resurgence of Covid cases continues to worry the market and hence it may continue with its roller coaster ride.”
Furthermore, the issues surrounding higher US yields will continue to be material to the markets in the coming weeks, said Joseph Thomas, Head of Research, Emkay Wealth Management.
Higher US bond yields drive away foreign capital from emerging markets’ asset classes to the more lucrative treasury bills.
“The Fed sees growth and inflation, so the yields will go higher — this is something that is heard on the street again and again,” Thomas said.
“This may have consequences for equities, though in a limited way, in the coming days. The trajectory of the US markets will be closely followed.”
According to Rohit Singre, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities: “Once nifty cross above 14,800 zone bullish piercing pattern will get active and we may see a good move towards immediate hurdle zone of 14,900-15,000, supports still at 14,650-14,580 zone holding above said levels structure can be positive.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

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