Amid volatility, equities end flat, WTI crude plunges

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Mumbai, April 20 | The Indian stock market closed on a flat note on Monday amid a largely volatile trade.

The indices pared their initial gains tracking weakness in the global markets and selling pressure on metal, FMCG and auto indices.

The BSE Sensex closed at 31,648, higher by 59.28 points or 0.19 per cent from its previous close of 31,588.72.

It had opened at 32,056.19 and touched an intra-day high of 32,056.47 and a low of 31,490.26 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 9,261.85, lower by 4.90 points or 0.05 per cent from its previous close.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said: “Uncertainty ruled the markets and lack of direction from earnings results or the global markets meant that the Indian benchmark indices ended flat after a volatile trading day.”

Sentiments were mixed regarding the recovery in corporate earnings, post easing of lockdown measures, and effectiveness of RBI measures to infuse liquidity into the financial system, he said, adding that rate of spread of virus infections and stock specific earnings guidance will be in focus.

According to Rahul Sharma, Research Head at Equity99 for the next few days, the market is likely to trade in a narrow range with stock specific action.

“However, overall sentiments will be driven by corporate earnings in the coming days. Of course, Covid-19 continues to be the focus of the market as the fresh number of cases continue to rise in the country which will hit growth in the coming months,” Sharma said.

Deepak Jasani , Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities, noted that major Asian markets closed on a negative note and European indices like the FTSE and CAC have ended lower.

On the technical front, he said: “Nifty seems to be consolidating in a range. Further directional cues are likely to emerge on a move beyond the 9,230-9,390 trading range.”

Global crude oil prices also slumped on Monday, with the West Texas intermediate (WTI) crude in US trading just above the $10 per barrel mark.

Currently, the May contract of WTI crude on the NYMEX is trading at $10.78 per barrel, lower by 41 per cent from its previous close.

The fall in oil prices comes on the back of weak demand amid the coronavirus crisis along with narrowing of storage of the increasing supplies.

Brent crude was at $26.53 per barrel, lower by 5.52 per cent from the previous close.

Ravindra Rao, VP, Head of Commodity Research at Kotak Securities, said: “The sell-off in near month contract (on the NYMEX) is largely because of position squaring ahead of expiry. There are huge stocks in US storage and this has pressurized near month prices.”

The current market is oversupplied on shrinking demand, creating a situation of free fall for crude.

Source: IANS

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