Budget propels Indian markets higher in Feb

New Delhi, March 3 The Union Budget propelled the market higher in February with India outperforming the global markets.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, after consolidating in January (down 2.5 per cent MoM), the Nifty headed north in February (up 6.6 per cent MoM). It closed above the psychological 15,000-mark on February 8 and ended the month at 14,529.

The Union Budget was a major positive with better transparency and higher capex spending buoying the market in the first half of February.

In the latter part of Feb'21, there was a sustained correction on the back of sell-off in global bond markets and rising coronavirus cases in India.

FII inflows were robust at $ 3 billion, domestic flows remain negative (at $ 2.2b). Over the last 12 months, midcaps are up 39 per cent v/s a rise of 30 per cent for the Nifty.

The breadth was positive as 34 Nifty constituents ended higher -- Hindalco (51 per cent), SBI (38 per cent), Adani Ports (32 per cent), ONGC (26 per cent), and IndusInd Bank (26 per cent) were the top outperformers, while Eicher Motors (9 per cent), TCS (7 per cent), HUL (6 per cent), Nestle (6 per cent), and Asian Paints (5 per cent) were the key laggards.

The report said the 3QFY21 corporate earnings season revived up from 2Q, with big beats and upgrades reported across the coverage universe.

The underlying recovery has led to the broad-basing of growth. The performance, while broad-based, was led by cyclical sectors such as Metals, Autos, and Cement. About 57 per cent of companies in MOFSL's coverage universe beat our estimates, while 24 per cent reported below than expected earnings. This resulted in the second consecutive quarter of material upgrades for Nifty EPS (5 per cent/3 per cent upward revision in Nifty FY21/22 EPS).