Tit-for-tat trade games playing with investor sentiment
TIT-FOR-TAT TRADE GAMES PLAYING WITH INVESTOR SENTIMENT
It has been a buoyant week on the bourses with key benchmark indices scaling fresh record highs, during the week. Positive global stocks, optimism over a trade resolution between the USA and China and strong institutional activity at home fuelled investor sentiment and pushed the bourses to trade with sharp gains. Domestic sentiment got a fillip after data released by the exchange showed that both domestic and foreign funds have been net buyers of Indian equities, during the week. However, market sentiment dipped towards the end of the week as it became clear that there would be no major progress with respect to the ongoing trade war conflict between China and the US.
Developments during the week
Despite starting the week on an optimistic note, domestic investors became cautious towards the end of the week in the wake of Beijing implementing new retaliatory tariffs against the United States. Investors digested the latest trade news after China officially retaliated against fresh duties, worth $16 billion, on goods from the United States. The closely watched trade talks between the US and China wrapped up on Thursday (August 23, 2018) with no major progress. The conclusion of the talks came just hours after Beijing and Washington rolled out their latest round of tariffs. The $16 billion in imports hit by each side took the total value of goods covered as a result of President Donald Trump's trade war with China to $100 billion.
Monetary Policy and Interest Rates
The Fed minutes released during the week indicated that there is broad-based support for another interest-rate hike in September 2018, with many officials stating that as long as economic data remains strong, it would likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation. However, they also suggested that any tightening will have to pause if the US trade tensions with partners continue to escalate.
The week gone by was truncated by a holiday and consequently, market activity was tepid as well. Select stocks on the index saw high buying activity which lent support to the benchmark. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have net bought Indian equities worth INR 204.42 crore since August 20, 2018. In the same time period, domestic institutional investors net bought Indian equities worth INR 933.09 crore.
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