Sensex posts best week since Feb-21 aided by easing crude prices, geopolitical tensions


The holiday-shortened week ended on a positive note and bought smiles on investors' faces before Holi on Friday. Out of the four days, the market was in the green on three days. The war tension and the easing crude oil prices cheered the market this week. Sensex and Nifty logged the best week since Feb. 2021, aided by gains in banking, auto and realty stocks.

Daily price movement in Nifty

On Monday, the market opened flat but on the positive side. It continued the uptrend and closed in the green for the fifth consecutive day. The crude oil fell by nearly 5%, and the progress on the peace talk between Russia and Ukraine cheered the market.

The five-day winning rally was broken on Tuesday. The market opened flat and witnessed profit booking in the initial hours, and most of the NIFTY50 stocks ended in the red. The oil price dipped below $100 a barrel on the back of continued ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine. The gold price also dropped 6% from its recent highs.

On Wednesday, the market bounced back on positive international sentiments. The market opened with a gap-up and continued the rally. Investors kept a close eye on the Fed's meeting outcome and the rate hike updates. The reality and metal sector gained the most on Wednesday.

The market cheered the Fed's decision of a 25 bps interest rate hike. It opened with a gap-up on Thursday. It remained high throughout the day from the support of HDFC Twins. Barring the IT sector, all sectors closed on green. For the week, the Nifty ended 3.95% higher. 

The stock market was closed on Friday, on account of Holi.  Markets extended gains amid easing crude prices, China’s policy support and easing geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Top Gainers and Losers

Here is a quick recap of the market moving developments:

Inflation numbers - The consumer inflation for February was released and stood at 6.07% (8-month high). The number is slightly above RBI's upper limit of 6% and analysts' estimates of 5.93%. The wholesale inflation rose and stood at 13.11% for February.

Update on Paytm and HDFC Bank - Paytm was in news this week as RBI directed Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) to stop onboarding new customers with immediate effect. Post the news, the stock hit a lifetime low and ended at a week below 600 level. Check our detailed article on Paytm. HDFC Bank rallied this week as RBI lifted restrictions on the new digital business-generating activities under its Digital 2.0 program. Check details here.

Deals of the week - Zomato plans to acquire Blinkit in a share-swap deal at a valuation of $700-$800 million. Check details here. Reliance New Energy Ltd (RNEL) plans to acquire the assets of cobalt-free lithium battery technology and manufacturing company Lithium Werks. The transaction value of the deal will be $61 million. Check details here.

Oil price fell sharply - Last week, the oil price had touched nearly $140 per barrel. This week, the prices have corrected and are below the $100 mark. The oil price dropped on the back of continued ceasefire talks between Ukraine and Russia. The market is hoping for positive news. If that happens, the oil supply could improve, and the price is expected to go down even further.