Indian stock indices extend losses, fall marginally Friday

New Delhi [India], March 24 (ANI): Indian stocks extended their losses from the previous session and opened marginally lower on Friday.

Largely, the fall is in line with weakness in the US markets, which are volatile as the US Federal Reserve further hiked interest rates to bring down inflation to its target even as volatility in the banking system continued due to the recent collapse of some banks.
Sensex and Nifty declined 0.2 per cent each at the time of writing this report.

Monetary policy tightening in the form of interest rate hikes in the advanced economies is detrimental for India, and other developing countries, as investments tend to shift to those advanced countries where returns on investments are reasonable and stable.

The US monetary policy committee, seeking to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 per cent over the longer run, hiked the key interest rate by 25 basis points to 4.75-5.0 per cent.

“The ongoing stress in the US banking system is a short-term challenge, but a long-term opportunity for equity investors,” said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

“Market corrections triggered by negative news from the US can be used by long-term investors to buy high-quality stocks, which will bounce back once interest rates start trending down,” Vijayakumar.

After the latest hike, the committee anticipates that some “additional policy firming” may be appropriate in order to attain a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 per cent over time.

Consumer inflation in the US moderated in February to 6.0 per cent from 6.4 per cent the previous month, but the numbers are still way above the 2 per cent target. It was at 6.5 per cent in December, and 7.1 per cent the month before.

The US central bank’s policy rate, which is now in a target range of 4.75-5.0 per cent, the highest in 15 years, and notably, it was near zero in the early part of 2022. Raising interest rates typically help in cooling demand in the economy and thus helps in managing inflation.

“U.S. stocks finished higher in volatile trading on Thursday, clawing back some of the Wednesday’s selloff as investors attempted to shake off concerns about banking-sector stability and the impact of an expected credit crunch,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC securities. (ANI)

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