Why stock markets are rising despite surge in Omicron cases

Market


Indian stocks markets were firm today amid positive global equities after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sounded less hawkish than expected in a testimony to Congress. The Sensex was up over 500 points while Nifty traded above 18,200 in noon trade.  Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said he was determined to rein in runaway inflation but pledged to maintain the healthy recovery in the world’s top economy.

Indian markets are up for the fourth straight session despite a surge in covid cases.  India added 1,94,720 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases, which includes 4,868 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the latest Union Health Ministry data. The active cases have increased to 9,55,319, the highest in 211 days.

“The short-term momentum reflects a market in complete control of the bulls. The expected good results from the three IT majors today is likely to impart resilience to the market. Results from the leading banks starting Saturday also will be good thanks to declining provisioning and rising NIMs. Though Omicron cases are exploding in Europe and US, the market message is that it is a manageable risk,” said Dr V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

Nifty’s IT index was up 0.3%. Technology major Infosys was up over 1% while Wipro and TCS were down about 0.5% each. The companies will be reporting their third-quarter results later in the day. IT stocks added 55% in 2020 and 59.6% in 2021 as investors bet on demand boom as people turned online during the pandemic.

“It is interesting to note that despite statement from the Fed chief that they will “use the full suite of policy tools to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched,” the US 10-year bond yield fell marginally. This indicates that the market has already discounted three or even four rate hikes in 2022,” he added. 

Rahul Sharma, Co-owner, Equity 99, said there are lot positive expectations in the market in relation to the Q3 results.

Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments, said: “The markets have sustained well above the 18000 level. We should be looking forward to 18400-18500 as the next target. Since the market has a good support at 17700, any intraday correction should be used to accumulate long positions on the Nifty.”

Eyes are also on India consumer price inflation data due later in the day, with a Reuters poll of 41 economists showing retail inflation spiking to 5.80% last month from 4.91% in November.

 

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