The benchmark Nifty on Friday ended the week with 2.15 per cent gains, the most since the week ended July 14, 2017. Signs of easing trade tensions between the US and China, coupled with lowering of inflation forecast by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had buoyed investor sentiment.
However, global stock markets edged downwards on Friday after US President Donald Trump’s threat to impose an extra $100 billion in tariffs on China exacerbated fears of a more serious trade dispute, while the dollar paused ahead of crucial US payrolls data.
The Nifty gained on all but one occasion during the week. However, the bulk of the gains were registered on Thursday when the 50 blue-chip company index had gained 1.94 per cent. The Nifty ended flat on Friday at 10,331.6, while the benchmark BSE Sensex gained 30 points to close at 33,627. The gauge had soared almost 578 points in the previous session after the RBI kept the policy rate unchanged but said growth would rebound this fiscal year amid softening inflation.
The Sensex rose 2 per cent during the week, the most since January 21.
“Markets witnessed gains during last week as the RBI maintained a status quo on interest rates as also revised the CPI (consumer price index-based) inflation forecast downwards. The focus of the markets will shift back to earnings, which are likely to kick start from next week. Escalating trade standoff between the US and China may continue to impact financial markets negatively,” said Teena Virmani, vice-president (research), Kotak Securities.
“Investor focus will shift to corporate earnings. Any scope of earnings upgrade will help offset global headwind, said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.
In the broader markets, the mid- and small-cap indices ended with gains of 0.65 per cent and 0.61 per cent, respectively. European shares followed their Asian counterparts into the red but the falls were limited, and the broader ups and downs for markets this week suggest investors are not yet convinced the row will escalate into a full-blown trade war that threatens global economic growth.