Stock Market Today: Top 10 things to know before the market opens

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Market Today

The benchmark Sensex and Nifty indices are likely to open higher on February 19 as trends in the GIFT Nifty indicate a positive start for the broader index with a gain of 52.50 points.

The market extended the gains for the fourth straight session on February 16 with Nifty above 22,000 led by auto, information technology and pharma names.

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At close, the Sensex was up 376.26 points or 0.52 percent at 72,426.64, and the Nifty was up 129.90 points or 0.59 percent at 22,040.70.

The pivot point calculator indicates that the Nifty is likely to take immediate support at 21,988 followed by 21,964 and 21,926 levels, while on the higher side, it may see immediate resistance at 22,050 followed by 22,088 and 22,126 levels.

Stay tuned to Moneycontrol to find out what happens in the currency and equity markets today. We have collated a list of important headlines across news platforms, which could impact Indian as well as international markets.

GIFT Nifty

Trends in the GIFT Nifty indicate a positive start for the broader index in India, with a gain of 52.50 points or 0.24 percent. The Nifty futures were trading around the 22,165 level.

Trade setup for today: Top 15 things to know before the opening bell

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US Markets

US stocks fell on Friday with the Nasdaq showing the largest decline after a hotter-than-expected producer prices report eroded hopes for imminent interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

A Labor Department report showed producer prices increased more than expected in January, feeding fears inflation was picking up after months of cooling. After five consecutive weeks of gains, all three indexes posted a weekly decline.

The S&P 500 lost 24.18 points, or 0.49 percent, to end at 5,005.15 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 132.38 points, or 0.83 percent, to 15,775.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 149.48 points, or 0.39 percent, to 38,623.64.

Asian Markets

Asian shares got off to a slow start on Monday as fading chances for early rate cuts globally soured the mood, though investors are hoping China markets return from holiday with a spring in their step.

A holiday for US markets also made for thin trading, while the latest surge in tech stocks is set to be tested by results from AI diva Nvidia on Wednesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2 percent, after bouncing 2 percent last week.

Japan’s Nikkei was flat, having surged more than 4% last week to stop just short of its all-time high.

Russian central bank holds rates at 16% after months of tightening

Russia’s central bank held its key interest rate at 16 percent on Friday, opting to leave borrowing costs unchanged after five successive rate hikes since last summer, still grappling with stubborn inflation pressure.

The central bank had raised rates by 850 basis points since July, including an unscheduled emergency hike in August as the rouble tumbled past 100 to the dollar and the Kremlin called for tighter monetary policy, but has lately signalled a more dovish approach.

The bank said returning inflation to its 4 percent target this year would require “tight monetary conditions…for a long period” and warned that inflationary pressures remained high, despite their easing from autumn peaks.

US consumer sentiment steady in February

US consumer sentiment was little changed in February while one-year inflation expectations ticked up, a survey showed on Friday.

The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 79.6 this month, compared to 79.0 in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a preliminary reading of 80.0.

The survey’s reading of one-year inflation expectations edged up to 3.0% this month from 2.9 percent in January. Near-term inflation expectations are within the 2.3-3.0 percent range seen in the two years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey’s five-year inflation outlook was unchanged at 2.9% for the third straight month.

India’s forex reserves come off one-month high

India’s foreign exchange reserves snapped a two-week gaining streak and stood at $617.23 billion as of Feb. 9, coming off a one-month high, data from the central bank showed on Friday.

The reserves fell by $5.27 billion in the reporting week, their steepest fall in a month, after having risen by a total of $6.36 billion in the prior two weeks.

Dollar

The dollar retreated on Friday amid concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy after higher-than-expected producer prices raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will desist from cutting interest rates until at least the middle of the year.

The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback’s value versus six major currencies, was on track for a fifth straight week of gains. It last rose 0.01 percent to 104.26, and was up about 0.12 percent for the week.

Crude

Oil prices settled higher on Friday as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East more than offset a forecast from the International Energy Agency for slowing demand.

Brent crude futures settled up 61 cents, or 0.74 percent at $83.47 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled $1.16, or 1.49 percent, higher at $79.19 with the nearby March contract expiring on Tuesday. The April contract rose 87 cents to $78.46.

For the week, Brent gained more than 1 percent and the US benchmark rose about 3 percent.

FII and DII data

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 253.28 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased Rs 1,571 crore worth of stocks on February 16, provisional data from the NSE showed.

Stocks under F&O ban on NSE

The NSE has added National Aluminium Company to the F&O ban list for February 19, while retaining Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, Ashok Leyland, Balrampur Chini Mills, Bandhan Bank, Canara Bank, Delta Corp, Hindustan Copper, India Cements, Indus Towers, SAIL and Zee Entertainment Enterprises to the said list. Biocon was removed from the said list.

With inputs from Reuters and other agencies