The benchmark indices reversed most of the gains posted on Thursday, following dovish statement by the US Federal Reserve, as the deficiency in rainfall and rising crude oil prices dampened sentiment.
On Friday, the India Meteorological Department said the cumulative rainfall during this year’s southwest monsoon season was below the long period average (LPA) by 43 per cent.
LPA is the average rainfall received across the country as a whole during the southwest monsoon, for a 50-year period. A deficient monsoon delays sowing and affects crop output. Further, the monsoon season accounts for a huge chunk of India’s annual rainfall.
Meanwhile, a spurt in tensions between the US and Iran led to a surge in crude oil prices. Brent crude rose 4.3 per cent overnight.
Yield on the 10-year government security rose 6 basis points (bps), as higher oil prices spared concerns of high inflation and trade deficit. In the earlier session, the 10-year G-sec had ended at a 20- month low after dropping over 50 bps in the past six weeks.
“We are already facing agrarian distress, and this could compound with a potentially deficient monsoon. The economy has to revive to increase purchasing power, and unless there is growth in aggregate demand, one cannot expect robust economic growth,” said U R Bhat, director at Dalton Capital Advisors.
The markets have been on a sticky wicket amid concerns over weak corporate fundamentals, the looming crisis in the non-banking financial companies (NBFC) sector, and the Indo-US trade tensions. Investors are also concerned over a slowdown in the economy and debt defaults. Market players said a rally in markets will depend on policy action by the government to revive growth and corporate earnings.
“The Indian markets have been on a slippery slope in the last several sessions, due to a liquidity crunch, tepid earnings growth, and corporate defaults. Thursday’s gain was a surprise relief rally following the Fed’s announcement. One cannot expect buoyancy in the market unless these underlying issues are resolved,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head research (retail), Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) sold shares worth Rs 731 crore on Friday, while domestic investors were buyers to the tune of Rs 445 crore, showed provisional data by the bourses. Of the 19 sectoral indices of the BSE, all but two ended Friday’s session in the red, with the BSE Auto Index declining the most.