Indian stocks gain in early trade; but concerns about FPI selloff persist

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NEW DELHI: Indian stocks opened Tuesday’s trade with marginal gains after having closed in the red the previous session. At 9.33 am, Sensex traded at 60,316.99 points, up 224.02 points or 0.37 per cent, whereas Nifty was at 17,964.75 points, up 69.90 points or 0.39 per cent.

“Markets started the week on a subdued note and lost nearly half a per cent amid mixed cues. The initial gains fizzled out in no time and Nifty traded with a negative bias till the end. Meanwhile, a mixed trend on the sectoral front kept the participants busy wherein PSU banking and IT edged higher while metal and auto settled in the red”, Ajit Mishra, VP-Technical Research at Religare Broking commented on Monday’s trade.

Tuesday’s rise in indices is despite concerns over slowing global economic growth and the pulling out of funds by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from India, which continues to hover over investors’ minds. Though, the rise in indices can be partly attributed to the moderation in both retail and wholesale inflation in India.

India’s wholesale inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index for the month of December 2022 was at 4.95 per cent (provisional), against the previous month’s 5.89 per cent. In October, it was at 8.39 and has been falling since then. Notably, the wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation had been in double digits for 18 months in a row till September.

Similarly, India’s retail inflation during the month of December was at 5.72 per cent. It was 5.88 per cent in November from 6.77 per cent in October. Retail inflation in India had remained above 6 per cent till October for over three quarters, which was beyond RBI’s comfort zone.

“The dominant trend impacting the near-term texture of the market is the sustained selling by FIIs for the eleventh time this month”, said V K Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Foreign portfolio investors have sold assets worth about Rs 18,808 crore in Indian stock markets so far in 2023, the latest data from National Securities Depository showed.

Barring July, August, November and December, when they were net buyers, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had been selling equities in the Indian markets for over a year, which started in October 2021 for various reasons. In 2022, foreign portfolio investors overall sold Rs 121,439 crore worth of stocks in India on a cumulative basis, the historical data available on the NSDL website showed. (ANI)

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