As fears of the demonetisation-led slowdown to the Indian economy eased and quarterly earnings of auto and certain FMCG companies seemed shrugging off any major worry from the demand perspective, stock markets rebounded sharply, with the benchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty attaining pre-demonetisation levels last week.
ITC, 30 other stocks hit 52-week high on Friday; is it pre-budget rally?
The Sensex jumped 847.96 points, or 3.14 percent, to settle at 27,882.46, while The NSE Nifty 50 index rallied by 291.90 points or 3.50 per cent to settle at 8,641.25.
As markets gained strength in the run up to a pre-budget rally, for the first time after the note ban on November 8 and Donald Trump's win in the US presidential election on November 9, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were also seen convincingly buying Indian equities.
However, the next lies an all-important action-packed week, which investors will be eyeing with bated breath.
Budget 2017: On Wednesday (February 1), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his fourth Union Budget and on Tuesday (January 31), the Economic Survey will be tabled. Even though the consensus remains that it will be a populist Budget, markets do expect the finance minister to respect the self-committed fiscal deficit to GDP target of 3.3-3.4 percent for FY 2017-18.
Among other measures expected from the Budget are an upward revision of the exemption threshold for personal income tax, as well as a reduction in corporate tax rates; a road map for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); an increase in capital spending and other steps to boost consumption.
However, markets are likely to get unnerved if the government introduces or reclassifies the definition of long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax or increases the securities transaction tax (STT).
GAAR clarification: On Monday, Markets are likely to positively react to the Central Board of Direct Taxes' clarification that the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will not be invoked against those foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who can prove their main purpose is not to obtain tax benefits by locating in a certain jurisdiction.
FOMC Meet: The two-day US Federal Market Open Committee (FOMC) meeting is scheduled for January 31 and February 1 and investors will be watching for the Committee's outlook for the US economy and interest rates in 2017.
At the same time, reactions to US President Trump's decision to ban entry of citizens of seven Muslim countries into the US will be keenly watched. Facebook and Google CEOs have reacted adversely to Trump's move. However, Indian IT companies are expected to be affected immediately.
Additionally, the next round of corporate results will also decide the near-term trend of the markets. Heavyweights like Housing lender HDFC, Grasim, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank and ONGC will come up with their quarterly numbers the next week.