Market Update – April 2024

Equity markets globally continued the positive momentum in March 2024, with most ending the month with strong gains. Taiwan (+7.0%), Germany (+4.6%) and UK (+4.2%) were the major gainers, while Malaysia, Brazil, Philippines, and Indonesia were among the few that ended up losers. Indian markets saw a roller coaster ride with Nifty hitting all-time highs in the first couple of weeks of March, followed by a sharp corrective phase lasting for ten days and then recovering again to end of the month with small gains of 1.6%.

Broader markets bore the brunt of the correction, with quite a few stocks correcting sharply as views of exuberance in small caps started to cause nervousness. However, there was a rebound towards the end of the month, with the S&P BSE Midcap & S&P BSE SmallCap250 down by a modest -0.6% and -3.8% respectively. Sector-wise, capital goods, auto and metals were the top performers with gains of 6.1%, 5% and 5% respectively, whereas IT, realty and FMCG declined 7.2%, 1.2% and 0.7% respectively in March.

Market Outlook

Indian equity markets, on a monthly basis, looked pretty stable in March. However, huge swings were witnessed during the month. The mid and small caps corrected very sharply intra-month amidst views floating of over valuation and exuberance. There was definitely a case for corrections, particularly in stocks that had moved far ahead of fundamentals and the fall was more pronounced in this category of stocks. Typical financial year phenomenon also added to the fall. Towards the end of the month though stocks recovered as expected. Strong economic indicators lent comfort to the markets, aided also by optimism on a consecutive 3rd term for the ruling Modi-government. Strength in global equity markets also helped.

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