Indian stocks give up Monday's gains; Fed chief's speech in focus

Sensex traded at 60,272.34 points, down 474.97 points or 0.78 per cent, whereas Nifty traded at 17,983.60 points, down 117.60 points or 0.65 per cent.
Representative image
Representative imageANI

NEW DELHI: Indian stock indices gave up their accumulated gains from the previous session and opened with sizable losses on Tuesday. At the time of writing this report, Sensex traded at 60,272.34 points, down 474.97 points or 0.78 per cent, whereas Nifty traded at 17,983.60 points, down 117.60 points or 0.65 per cent.

Among the Nifty sectoral indices, Nifty IT, Nifty bank, Nifty PSU bank, and Nifty financial services declined the most. TCS, among the Nifty 50 companies, was the top loser this morning. It declined over 2 per cent. Analysts attribute the decline to less-than-estimated earnings during the October-December quarter.

The IT services firm on Monday reported 10.98 per cent surge in its consolidated net profit to Rs 10,883 crore for the quarter that ended December 2022 (Q3FY23).

The company had posted a profit of Rs 9,806 crore in the year-ago period. TCS reported a 19.1 per cent year-on-year growth in its revenue for the quarter that ended in December 2022. The software giant said net income grew 11 per cent to Rs 10,846 crore during the December quarter whereas its net margin was at 18.6 per cent.

The broader markets also await US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at a conference later in the day. He may shed light on the future course of monetary policy action in the US. Investors will also keep an eye on the latest US inflation, scheduled to be released this week.

The US Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates by 50 basis points (bps). The central bank's policy rate is now in a target range of 4.25-4.50 per cent, the highest level in 15 years. It was near zero in the early part of 2022. Prior to the recent 50 basis-point hike, there had been a fourth consecutive hike of 75 basis points magnitude.

"After the positive market news of last Friday the market would be keenly watching the Powell Speech today and the CPI data to be released tomorrow.

Powell is unlikely to depart from the Fed's hawkish stance but if the CPI data of Wednesday confirms the declining trend in inflation, the market will get ahead of the Fed and will start pricing in a terminal rate below 5 per cent and possible rate cuts by end 2023," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services. "

On the other hand, if inflation continues to remain high, there can be a sell-off in the market discounting higher rates and a hard landing for the US economy," Vijayakumar said, thus recommending investors may wait for these crucial inputs before taking a call on near-term market trends.

Moreover, Infosys and HCL Tech's earnings later this week will throw more light on the short-term prospects of the IT services industry, and will be on investors' radar.

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