Sensex, Nifty open positive ahead of F&O expiry, investors cautious over India-Pakistan tension

Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex opened on a positive note Thursday amid buying by domestic as well as foreign institutional investors ahead of February derivatives expiry.

Investors, however, were cautious on concerns over the tension between India and Pakistan .

The 30-share index was trading higher by 81.45 points, or 0.23 percent, to 35,986.88. The gauge had lost 308 points in the previous two sessions.

The NSE Nifty too was trading in the green, up 35.35 points, or 0.33 percent, at 10,842.

Major gainers that supported key indices were Coal India, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Asian Paint, RIL, Infosys, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, SBI, Tata Motors, Yes Bank, HUL, HDFC Bank and Vedanta, rising up to 1.42 percent.

According to Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management, while attacks on the India-Pakistan border and war-like situation continue to make headlines, Indian markets have been resilient.

Sensex, Nifty open positive ahead of F&O expiry, investors cautious over India-Pakistan tension

Representational image. Reuters

"Clearly, the market appears to be suggesting that things will subside as both sides do not appear to want an escalation.

"The flip side of the event is that investors seem to be recognizing a greater likelihood of a victory for the current regime in upcoming elections; with the follow-on implication that while the near term may be fraught with tensions and a fear of escalation, the medium term picture is possibly clarifying in terms of election outcome and that's a positive for the market," he said.

Investors are covering their pending short positions on the last trading session of February futures and options (F&O) expiry in the derivatives segment, brokers said.

The market is also awaiting GDP numbers and fiscal deficit data scheduled for release later in the day.

Debabrata Bhattacharjee, Head of Research, CapitalAim said, after Indian Air force attacked terror camps in PoK, and Pakistan’s retaliation on the Kashmir border, the situation has become tensed. It has created a volatile session in Indian stock markets. Going forward if this scenario continues for a few more days, it will put immense pressure on benchmarks. The market will correct more from current levels. Investors and traders could be cautious at this moment. They will put on hold their investments in markets and keep an eye on every input related to Indo-Pak situation. If the situation worsens, the market will erase all the gains which were earned by companies in recent past months. 

Nifty is in range of 10950 upside and 10560 downside.

If it breaches 10950 then it can be bullish but if it breaks the level of 10560 in downside then it can go into bearish trend.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 423.04 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases to the tune of Rs 66.81 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.06 percent, while Japan's Nikkei was down 0.35 per cent in early trade Thursday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.35 percent.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.28 per cent lower Wednesday.

The rupee, meanwhile, rose 10 paise to 71.14 against the US dollar in opening trade.

--With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2019 11:47:18 IST

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