Stocks Rebound Despite Ukraine Crisis But Crude Rise Biggest External Risk: Motilal Oswal

NEW DELHI: Indian stock markets rallied despite the worsening geopolitical crisis between Ukraine and Russia.

Benchmarks rose strongly in March after falling in February. Benchmark Sensex and Nifty are up more than 10% in the past month, the data shows.

To put this into context, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis has exacerbated the macroeconomic backdrop and caused turbulence in global equity, bond and commodity markets with sharply elevated volatility.

Despite the crisis, 65% of the components of the BSE 200 index gained in March. On the other hand, 70% of the Nifty Index constituents gained in the same month, brokerage Motilal Oswal Financial Services said.

As for sector stocks, excluding the automotive sector, all major sectors advanced in March, the brokerage said.

Adani Group companies (Adani Power, Adani Total Gas, Adani Enterprises) were the biggest gainers with more than 25% month-over-month in March. However, rising crude oil prices remain the biggest external risk to the Indian economy as it is trading near $100 a barrel. Gasoline and diesel prices have seen an almost constant increase after the results of the National Assembly elections in March.

Petrol and diesel prices have witnessed a cumulative increase of Rs 9 to Rs 10 per litre, respectively, over the past 15 days.

Christi C. Elwood