Stock Market Today: Ends with a modest gain ahead of US fed decision

Stock Market Today

Mumbai, March 20, 2024: The Indian stock market exhibited a mixed performance today, as the Sensex and Nifty 50 managed to clinch mild gains despite facing bouts of volatility. Investors remained cautiously optimistic ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, anticipating insights from Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s subsequent press conference regarding inflation and future rate actions.

The Sensex closed marginally higher at 72,101.69, up by 90 points or 0.12 percent, while the Nifty 50 settled with a gain of 22 points, or 0.10 percent, at 21,839.10. However, midcap and smallcap indices underperformed their largecap counterparts, with the BSE Midcap index edging up nominally by 0.05 percent and the Smallcap index witnessing a loss of 0.14 percent.

Leading the gains on the Sensex were shares of Reliance Industries, ITC, and SBI, while HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, and Tata Motors weighed down the index as top drags. Notably, 86 stocks including Maruti Suzuki and CG Power hit fresh 52-week highs, while 79 stocks including Hindustan Unilever and Bata India marked fresh 52-week lows on the BSE.

In the Nifty 50 index, Eicher Motors, Maruti Suzuki India, and Nestle India emerged as top gainers, whereas Tata Steel, Tata Consumer, and Tata Motors faced losses, closing as the top losers. Sectoral indices depicted a mixed picture, with Nifty Metal being the top loser, while Nifty Oil & Gas and Nifty Realty ended in the green.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, attributed the modest gains to favorable global sentiment and solid direct tax collections. He noted the resilience of the Indian market amidst reduced expectations of a rate cut in June by the US Fed, projecting a potential lag in domestic mid and small caps compared to large caps in the short term.

Ajit Mishra, SVP of technical research at Religare Broking, expressed a cautious sentiment, suggesting a ‘sell on the rise’ approach until Nifty decisively reclaims the 22,100 level. He emphasized a preference for index majors over other positions.

Technical analyst Mandar Bhojane from Choice Broking highlighted a potential reversal of the Nifty 50 uptrend, noting a breakdown of the daily trendline and a bearish crossover in the Relative Strength Index (RSI). Bhojane outlined key support and resistance levels, signaling a cautious outlook.

As investors await the US Fed’s decision, market participants brace for potential market movements based on Powell’s commentary. The highest open interest levels on the call and put sides further underscore the anticipation surrounding market movements in the coming sessions.

In conclusion, amidst global economic dynamics and domestic factors, the Indian stock market navigates volatility with a cautious yet optimistic outlook, awaiting cues from the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision.

Also Read: Gold Price Predictions & Forecast For 2024 And Beyond

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