Holiday hangover expected to keep equities on pause

MUMBAI: Equities are seen taking a breather in the first week of the new year as investors are expected to remain in holiday mood. Foreign participation is also likely to be on the lower side in the absence of clear triggers to drive momentum.

“Christmas vacation across the globe will continue till the end of next week, so one shouldn’t expect too much money to come in from FIIs. There was a strong build up of positions in the derivatives segment before the December expiry, so the sentiment is optimistic; traders are waiting for FII allocations to start in January, but probably not as early as the first week,” said Kiran Mehta, partner at KPM Financial.

The Christmas cheer reflected in equity markets across the globe in the last week of December took a knock after the former Pakistani Prime Minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday 27, reportedly by AlQueda terrorists.

In the subsequent trading session, benchmark indices in India opened lower, but recovered to close flat. Analysts said traders were cautious fearing foreign buyers would shy away as a result of geo-political tension, but also said the worst is over on that front.

After an initial bout of profit booking, the Sensex recovered smartly in the last lap of the session to close just 9 points or 0.05 per cent lower at 20,206.95. The Nifty closed flat at 6079.70.

Compared with other Asian markets, Indian equities showed resilience once again. Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended down 1.7 per cent at 15,307.78 in a shortened trading session, ending 2007 with a loss of more than 11 per cent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dropped 1.7 per cent to 27,370.60. Singapore’s Straits Times finished 0.9 per cent lower at 3,445.82. The Japanese markets will be closed for New Year holidays until next Friday.

Back home, equities witnessed a steady rise in the first half of the week following a hands down win by BJP candidate Narendra Modi in the Gujarat assembly elections.

For the week, Sensex and Nifty gained over 5 per cent each. According to SEBI data, foreign investors were net buyers of Rs 3531.9 crore equity during the same week. var RN = new String (Math.random()); var RNS = RN.substring (2,11); b2 = ‘ ‘; if (doweshowbellyad==1) bellyad.innerHTML = b2;

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