Stock Market Today: Nifty and Sensex set for a higher open on Thursday

  • India’s Nifty and Sensex ended in the green after flatlining on expiry day this Thursday.
  • Nifty and Sensex lost over 1% on Wednesday, undermined by steep losses in the auto sector stocks.
  • Traders brace for US PCE inflation, India’s Q3 GDP data on Thursday.

The Sensex 30 and Nifty 50, India’s key benchmark indices, managed to settle in the green after trading listlessly on Thursday.

Indian traders stayed cautious ahead of India’s third-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and US PCE inflation data on the expiry data.

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty 50 closed 0.14% higher at 21,982.80 and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex 30 gained 0.27% on the day to finish at 72,500.30.

Stock market news

  • Top gainers on Nifty were IndusInd Bank, Tata Consumer Products, Britannia, Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports. Meanwhile, the main losers were Apollo Hospitals, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel and UPL.
  • Shriram Finance will replace UPL in the Nifty 50 index from March 28.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in India declined 13% to USD 32.03 billion in April-December 2023, according to the latest government data. 
  • Brightcom Group tanked 7% after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) refused to lift restrictions on promoter.
  • Reliance, Viacom 18 and Walt Disney announced a binding agreement to merge their business on Wednesday.
  • The US stock markets settled lower on Wednesday, in anticipation of the key US PCE inflation data on Thursday. Meanwhile, US GDP was revised to an annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2023, from an initial estimate of 3.3% released last month.
  •  On Tuesday, US Durable Goods Orders slumped by 6.1% in January while the CB Consumer Confidence index dipped to 106.7 in February. Both figures missed the market expectations.
  • Markets are currently pricing in just about a 20% chance that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) could begin easing rates in May, much lower than an over 90% chance a month ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. For the June meeting, the probability for a rate cut now stands at about 62%, down from 70% seen a week ago.
  • All eyes now remain on India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the US PCE inflation data, which are likely to infuse some volatility on Thursday.

Nifty 50 FAQs

What is the Nifty 50?

The Nifty 50, or simply Nifty, is the most commonly followed stock index in India. It was launched in 1996 by the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). It plots the weighted average share price of 50 of the largest Indian corporations, offering investors comprehensive exposure to 13 sectors of the economy. Each corporation’s weighting is based on its “free-float capitalization”, or the value of all its shares readily available for trading.

What factors drive the Nifty 50?

The Nifty is a composite so its value is dependent on the performance of the companies that make up the index, as revealed in their quarterly and annual results. Another factor is government policies, such as when in 2016 the government decided to demonetize 500 and 1000 Rupee banknotes. This led to a temporary cash shortage which negatively impacted the Nifty. The level of interest rates set by the Reserve Bank of India is a further factor as it determines the cost of borrowing. Climate change, pandemics and natural disasters are also drivers.

What are the key milestones for the Nifty 50?

The Nifty 50 was launched on April 22, 1996 at a base level of 1,000. Its highest recorded level to date is 22,097 achieved on January 15, 2024 (this is being written in Feb 2024). The index first closed above the 10,000 level on October 17, 2017. The Nifty recorded its biggest daily decline on March 23, 2020 during the Covid pandemic, when it fell 1,125 points or 12.37%. The Nifty’s biggest gain in a single day occurred on May 18, 2009, when it rose 651 points after the results of the Indian elections.

What are some of the major companies in the Nifty 50?

Major corporations in the Nifty 50 include HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Larsen and Toubro, ITC Ltd, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd and Kotak Mahendra Bank.

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