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Smoke, Fury & Fire: Farmers Rev Up Protests in India While US-based Chipmaker Nvidia Fuels Global Rally | Weekly Update February 24th

Smoke, Fury & Fire: Farmers Rev Up Protests in India While US-based Chipmaker Nvidia Fuels Global Rally | Weekly Update February 24th

Indian stock markets weekly update - Market outlook

Hello Readers!

It seems out of us all- farmers have had the roughest week while the market saw a few low moments despite the overall rise. Diesel fumes fill the air, tractors rumbled down highways, and placards demand a fair price. Dive into the heart of India’s farmer protests, where the Minimum Support Price (MSP) is the battle cry.

Meanwhile, US stocks had their best week of the year so far, with S&P 500 hitting a fresh record after the chipmaker Nvidia’s blockbuster earnings 🚀. On Thursday, the chip titan’s stock was on fire surging 16%, adding $277 billion to its market cap (more than the value of Netflix) and breaching $2 trillion in market value. It was the biggest single-session value spike ever, leading to gains in tech sector and overall markets surging higher.

Now, let’s take a look at how the Indian stock markets fared this week and key things you should know about before the market action on Monday.

🧾In this newsletter

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📈 Weekly Update

This week, Indian markets resembled a thrilling rollercoaster ride, reaching record highs before dipping slightly on Friday to close nearly flat. Let’s unpack the key details.

Indian bourses extended the gains for second week. While both the Nifty and Sensex closed slightly lower on Friday, but managed to hold onto weekly gains. The Nifty rose 0.78% overall, flirting with record highs every single day finally closing the week at 22,212.7 (up 172 points). The Sensex followed suit, climbing 0.99% for the week, closing at 73142.8 up 716.16 points.

Foreign investors also got the memo, turning net buyers and pumping life into Indian stocks.

Winners & Losers: The party wasn’t even across sectors. Among the Nifty stocks, M&M (5.16%), Grasim Industries (4.02%), ICICI Bank (3.75%), Nestle (3.74%), and Sun Pharma (3.34%) popped champagne, while Hero MotoCorp (-7.69%), Coal India (-7.51%), BPCL (5.64%), Divi’s Lab (-2.47%), and HDFC Life Insurance (-1.99%) nursed their hangovers.

Sector Spotlight: IT stocks took a hit, dropping 1.06%. Conversely, FMCG, Consumer Goods, Consumer Durables, and Healthcare enjoyed a sweet week, rising 1.55%, 1.31%, 1.99%, and 0.73% respectively.

Global Gossip: On Wall Street, Dow Jones closed the week up 1.3%, S&P 500 1.7% and the Nasdaq 1.4%. US weekly jobless claims also fell to the lowest level in a month. The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 Index climbed to a record level, ending the week 1.15% higher as stellar quarterly results from NVIDIA stoked a global rally and demand for technology stocks. Germany’s DAX gained 1.76%, France’s CAC 40 Index advanced 2.56%, while UK’s FTSE 100 Index was little changed, reflecting weakness in mining and energy stocks. However, final data confirmed Germany’s economy shrank 0.3% in the fourth quarter.

Triggered by the AI-boom, Asian markets also had their party on. Japanese Nikkei ended Thursday’s session at a new all-time high, closing up 2.19% at 39,098.68. Nikkei 225 Index broke the previous record set more than 30 years ago in December 1989. Japan’s stock market was closed on Friday for a public holiday. The Shanghai Composite index rose above the psychologically key 3,000-point mark, advancing up 4.6% for the week and even bounced about 10% from five-year lows set more than two weeks ago.

Rupee Report: The Rupee wasn’t feeling the love, weakening against the dollar to close at 82.95.

Buoyed by a softer dollar and safe-haven demand from escalating tensions in the Middle East even gold had a good week, closing nearly 1% up.

Bottom Line: While Broader markets like midcap and smallcap outperformed benchmarks, rising 0.25% and 0.53% respectively, volatility reigned supreme this week, with mixed signals aplenty. We expect the rollercoaster to continue in the coming days. Keep an eye on key sectors like FMCG, consumer durables, and healthcare, which could offer stability amidst volatility.

Looking ahead, key your eye on macroeconomic data data releases and global cues. Watch out for US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data due next week (Thursday), as it may also provide clues for Fed policy, home sales numbers for January (Monday), and ISM manufacturing. Developments in the oil market and share buybacks by companies like Bajaj Auto should be on your radar too.

🍟 Quick Bites

  • 🌐 Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) launched UPI in Sri Lanka and Mauritius, also introducing RuPay services in Mauritius.
  • ⬇️ India’s retail inflation dropped to a 3-month low of 5.10% in Jan 2024 while wholesale inflation dropped to its 3-month low at 0.27% in January from 0.73% in Dec 2023.
  • 🏗️India’s monthly steel exports hit an 18-month high to 11 lacs tonne in January 2024 on increased demand from the European Union and supportive global prices, according to SteelMint.
  • 🛢️ India’s vegetable oil imports in Jan declined 28% year-on-year to 12 lakh tonnes, as per the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA).
  • 💰 India’s net direct tax collection reached 80% of its revised target for this financial year, amounting to ₹15.60 lakh crore.
  • 🏙️ Urban employment rate hit 6.5% in the Oct-Dec period, marking the lowest in nearly 4 years, while female labour force participation reached its highest at 25%.
  • 🏭 India’s industrial production growth stood at 3.8% in Dec, compared to 2.4% in Nov 2023.
  • 🚗 Vehicle registrations surged 15% year-on-year in Jan to 21.28 lakh vehicles, according to FADA.
  • 📈 Stock markets will be open on 2nd March (Saturday) to test quick transition to a disaster recovery site.
  • 🏠 Sales of luxury homes (costing over ₹ 4 crore) soared 75% year-on-year, with Delhi-NCR recording the highest growth, as reported by CBRE.
  • 🥤 Coca-Cola aims to increase its capital investment for its India business, which experienced robust growth in 2023.
  • 🪙 RBI’s gold purchase in 2023 hit its lowest in 6 years.
  • 🚗 Passenger vehicle sales from April-Jan in FY24 rose 14% to 3.93 lakh units, according to SIAM.
  • 📉 In January, India’s trade deficit amounted to $17.5 billion, down from $19.8 billion in December, with exports growing by 3.1% and imports by 3%.
  • 🏦 Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) reported a total banking asset size of $52 billion as of January 2024.
  • Hero MotoCorp Expects Two-Wheeler Industry To See Double-Digit Revenue Growth Next Fiscal
  • 💳 PayU is teaming up with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce the ‘Credit Lines on UPI’ feature on its platform.

📰 Stocks in News

  • 🔌 Power Grid’s board approved a ₹656 cr investment for electricity transmission projects nationwide.
  • 🏗️ NBCC secured a ₹331.9 cr contract from Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • 🚂 Titagarh Rail awarded a ₹170 cr contract by the Ministry of Defense for 250 specialized wagons production and delivery.
  • 💳 One97 (Paytm) transferred its nodal account from Paytm Payments Bank to Axis Bank.
  • ⛏️ Coal India plans to bid for 3 critical minerals blocks in the mining ministry’s February auctions.
  • 🏦 Union Bank of India to raise ₹3,000 cr through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) at a floor price of ₹142.78 per share.
  • 🚚 TVS Supply Chain Solutions extended its contract with Rolls-Royce for an additional 5 years until 2029.
  • 🛫 IndiGo to launch daily direct flights from Bengaluru to Bali, Indonesia.
  • 🏗️ NBCC awarded a ₹560 cr contract to construct a permanent campus for the National Institute of Technology, Sikkim.
  • 🌐 BSNL issued a tender worth around ₹65,000 cr for the 3rd phase of the BharatNet project, aiming to connect gram panchayats with high-speed internet.
  • 🏢 Raymond Realty announced its first project launch in the Mumbai real estate market.
  • 💼 Tech Mahindra acquired a 100% stake in Orchid Cybertech Services for $3.27 million.
  • 🔩 Ramkrishna Forgings got an order worth $220 million to supply products in North America.
  • 💰 Whirlpool of India sold a 24% stake in its Indian unit ‘Whirlpool of India’ through the open market for $468 million.
  • 💼 Jana Small Finance Bank’s profits grew by 12.82% year-on-year to ₹134.64 crore in the third quarter of FY24, compared to Rs 119.34 crore last year. Additionally, its net interest income increased by 24.4% year-on-year to Rs 548.5 crore in Q3, up from Rs 440.8 crore in Q3 FY23.
  • ⛏️ Coal India is likely to exceed its capex target of ₹16,500 cr for the current financial year, as per the coal ministry.
  • 🏭 Hindalco’s US subsidiary Novelis Inc is planning to list its stock in the US.
  • 🏗️ NBCC secured initial approval from the Greater Noida Authority for the development of Amrapali projects, valued at ₹10,000 cr.
  • ⚖️ The Supreme Court has proposed an expert committee to assess the potential reopening of Vedanta’s Tuticorin copper smelter plant.
  • 💊 Sun Pharma plans to acquire a 16.33% stake for about $3.05 million in Surgimatix Inc.
  • 🏭 Ambuja Cements announced its plans to invest ₹1,000 cr in establishing a cement grinding unit in the Godda district of Jharkhand.

🌱 Sustainability Corner

  • ☀️ Waaree Renewable received an order worth ₹990.60 cr for a 980 MWp solar project.
  • ♻️ IREDA announced collaboration with PNB for jointly financing green energy projects.
  • ☀️ NHPC – PM Modi inaugurated the foundation laying ceremony for a 300 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan.

🚀 IPO Corner

🏦 Vibhor Steel’s listing premium stands at 181.5%.

🏦 Juniper Hotels received a subscription of 0.23 times overall, with retail subscription standing at 0.87 times.

Smoke and Fury: Farmers Rev Up Protests as MSP Talks Stall

Imagine toiling under the relentless sun, nurturing crops that feed a nation, only to face an uncertain future at harvest. That’s the reality for millions of Indian farmers, their anxieties amplified by the ongoing protests demanding a guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

The Price They Pay, The Anger They Sow:

India’s farmlands simmer with discontent. Diesel fumes mingle with the cries of protest as farmers, tired of unremunerative returns, demand a fair Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. This isn’t just a fight for better prices; it’s a battle for survival in an industry plagued by declining landholdings, inadequate irrigation, and a widening gap between farmers and policymakers.

Beyond the Headlines

The current protests, spearheaded by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), aren’t just about the MSP. They’re a symptom of deeper issues:

Unremunerative agriculture: Farming in India has been a losing game for too long, pushing many to the brink.

Broken promises: The government’s limited MSP coverage and inconsistent implementation leave farmers feeling cheated.

Rising costs: Surging fuel prices and stagnant input costs squeeze margins further, fueling the fire.

Disconnection with policymakers: The widening gap between farmers and policymakers leads to a feeling of being unheard.

The Battlefield

From Punjab and Haryana to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, farmers have mobilized. Highways are blocked, rallies erupt, and placards demand a “legal guarantee for MSP across all crops.” The government has offered concessions like bonus payments and increased procurement quotas, but these haven’t quelled the anger.

A Glimmer of Hope?

While the road ahead remains uncertain, there’s a flicker of hope. The government has initiated talks with farmer leaders, and both sides seem willing to find common ground. The success of these negotiations will determine the fate of millions of farmers and the future of Indian agriculture.

The Human Cost

The protests have been marred by tragedy. A farmer and a police officer have lost their lives, highlighting the human cost of this struggle.

Recent Developments

  • Farmer leaders have rejected the Centre’s proposal for MSP, calling it inadequate.
  • The government has approved an increase in sugarcane price, but farmers remain unconvinced.
  • The SKM welcomed a splinter group’s decision to reject the Centre’s offer and resume protests.
  • Union Minister V.K. Singh accused farmer leaders of not wanting a solution.

In short ……….

The farmers’ protests are a stark reminder of the challenges facing Indian agriculture. While the government seeks solutions, millions of farmers wait with bated breath, hoping for a future where their sweat and toil are rewarded with a fair price and a dignified life.

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