Indian markets on Tuesday dropped nearly 0.8%, tracking losses in global equities. Investors are also awaiting inflation, and index of industrial production data due on Wednesday.
At 9.41 am, the benchmark Sensex lost 0.77% to 49,119.78 points, while Nifty slipped 0.78% to 14,826 points.
Global markets declined, as surging commodity prices stoked concerns about inflation. Japan’s Nikkei 225 sank 2.8% and Hong Kong lost 2.4% early Tuesday. Despite reassurances from the Federal Reserve and a much weaker than expected US jobs reading last week, investors have refocused on the potential for surging prices to pressure central banks into tapering off on their massive stimulus and ultra-low interest rates.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slipped to 28,705.95, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was at 27,928.11. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.3% to 3,417.80. In Seoul, the Kospi dropped 1.3% to 3,206.80.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.1% to 7,094.30.
Domestically, investors were concerned due to the extension of lockdowns by many state governments.
Indian coronavirus infections and deaths held close to record daily highs on Monday, drawing calls for the central government to introduce another nationwide lockdown.
The 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported by the health ministry were slightly below recent peaks, but took India’s tally to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths. Meanwhile hospitals are running out of oxygen and beds, and morgues and crematoria overflow.
“While decline in daily caseload yesterday offers comfort, elevated positivity rate and rising covid-19 cases in the hinterlands are expected to weigh on investors’ sentiments and will prevent market to take any decisive up-move. Although states have been extending lockdowns / mobility restrictions in recent days, the markets are still factoring-in reversal in daily caseload by the end of May or mid of June. Given contraction in daily caseload in certain large states, we believe the pace of rising cases should be reversed in the coming weeks,” said Binod Modi, head, strategy, at Reliance Securities.
Investors would be keenly watching the progress of vaccination and recovery rates.
“Going forward, markets are likely to remain range bound in the absence of fresh trigger. Resurgence of the second covid wave has dented sentiments and weakened FY22E earnings visibility. Management commentaries from the on-going Q4FY21 earnings season clearly indicate that demand would moderate, especially post the second half of April. Thus earnings downgrades are increasing vis-à-vis upgrades. However, the market is looking beyond this near-term weakness and has been resilient so far. We believe, the interplay of resurgence in covid-19 cases and the pace of vaccination would decide the trajectory of economic recovery going forward,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head-retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial.
On the domestic front, investors will watch consumer price inflation data for April and IIP data for March. According to Bloomberg analyst estimates, CPI for April will be at 4.1% from 5.52% a month ago while IIP will be 20% for March from -3.6% last month.