Key gauges reverse losses to log modest gains on Tuesday

Indian equity benchmarks reversed their early session losses to log modest gains on Tuesday following fag-end buying in Oil & Gas up, Energy and Metal stocks and a recovery in global equities. Markets made negative start and stayed in red for most part of the day, on the back of persistent foreign fund outflows. As per exchange data, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 1,278.42 crore on Monday. Firm crude oil prices in the international market also put pressure on equities. Some concern also came as Crisil in its latest report has said that a fourth of Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have lost 3 per cent or more of their respective market share to big corporations during the Covid pandemic. It analysed MSMEs from 69 sectors and 147 clusters having a revenue of Rs 47 lakh crore or a fourth of India's GDP to arrive at the details on how the small businesses fared during the pandemic.

However, key benchmark indices recovered at fag end to close with marginal gains, as traders found some solace with a report by the government think-tank NITI Aayog estimates India’s gig economy could employ 2.35 crore people by FY30, representing a three-and-a-half-times increase over 10 years. The gig economy employed around 68 lakh people in FY20. Some support also came as the electronics and IT ministry has approved a total of 314 applications with proposed investments of Rs 86,824 crore under a modified special incentive package scheme till May 31, 2022. Meanwhile, India and the European Union (EU) resumed negotiations, after a gap of over eight years, for a comprehensive free trade agreement, a move aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two regions. 

On the global front, European markets were trading higher as China cut quarantine time for international travelers in big step toward easing Covid-19 controls and ECB President Christine Lagarde played down fears of a recession in the euro zone. However, survey results from the market research group GfK showed Germany's consumer confidence dropped to a new record low in July as consumers see the risk of the economy slipping to a recession. Asian markets settled mostly higher on Tuesday, after China announced changes to testing and quarantine rules in first step towards easing border controls. Sentiment was underpinned by an official's remarks that China will roll out tools in its policy reserve in a timely way to cope with more economic challenges.

Finally, the BSE Sensex rose 16.17 points or 0.03% to 53,177.45 and the CNX Nifty was up by 18.15 points or 0.11% to 15,850.20.

The BSE Sensex touched high and low of 53,301.40 and 52,771.53, respectively. There were 17 stocks advancing against 13 stocks declining on the index.  

The broader indices ended in green; the BSE Mid cap index rose 0.18%, while Small cap index was up by 0.24%.

The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Oil & Gas up by 2.54%, Energy up by 2.45%, Metal up by 1.97%, Auto up by 1.26% and PSU up by 0.85%, while Consumer Durables down by 1.49%, Telecom down by 1.05%, Bankex down by 0.46%, Consumer Discretionary down by 0.05% and Power down by 0.02% were the top losing indices on BSE.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra & Mahindra up by 2.78%, Reliance Industries up by 1.49%, Dr. Reddy's Lab up by 1.41%, Tech Mahindra up by 1.40% and Tata Steel up by 1.34%. On the flip side, Titan Company down by 3.54%, Asian Paints down by 3.25%, Bajaj Finserv down by 1.94%, Kotak Mahindra Bank down by 1.32% and ICICI Bank down by 1.02% were the top losers.

Meanwhile, NITI Aayog in its latest report titled 'India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy' has said that the country’s gig workforce is likely to expand to 23.5 million by 2029-30 from 7.7 million in 2020-21, and recommended extending social security measures for such workers and their families in partnership mode as envisaged in Code on Social Security. The report further said gig workers are likely to form 6.7 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1 per cent of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30.

Gig workers can be broadly classified into platform and non-platform workers. Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms while non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers, working part-time or full- time. Gig workers prefer a flexible work schedule, typically with low to middle level of education. Income through gig work is not their primary source of income and they are often holding another regular job.

According to the NITI report, it is estimated that in 2020-21, 7.7 million workers were engaged in the gig economy and they constituted 2.6 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5 per cent of the total workforce in India. Similarly, it estimated that there were 6.8 million gig workers in 2019-20, using both principal and subsidiary status, forming 2.4 per cent of the non-farm workforce or 1.3 per cent of the total workers in India. It highlighted that the employment elasticity to GDP growth for gig workers was above one throughout the period 2011-12 to 2019-20, and was always above the overall employment elasticity.

To harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommended accelerating access to finance through products specifically designed for platform workers, linking self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine, street food, etc, with platforms to enable them to sell their produce to wider markets in towns and cities. Other recommendations include undertaking a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig-platform workforce and collecting information during official enumerations.

The CNX Nifty traded in a range of 15,892.10 and 15,710.15. There were 32 stocks advancing against 17 stocks declining, while 1 stock remains unchanged on the index.

The top gainers on Nifty were ONGC up by 5.16%, Hindalco up by 4.46%, Coal India up by 2.58%, Mahindra & Mahindra up by 2.57% and Tech Mahindra up by 1.97%. On the flip side, Titan Company down by 3.44%, Asian Paints down by 3.40%, Bajaj Finserv down by 1.94%, Divi's Lab down by 1.81% and Bajaj Finance down by 1.36% were the top losers.

European markets were trading higher;  UK’s FTSE 100 increased 91.82 points or 1.27% to 7,350.14, France’s CAC increased 76.92 points or 1.27% to 6,124.23 and Germany’s DAX increased 107.31 points or 0.81% to 13,293.38.

Asian markets settled mostly higher on Tuesday with Chinese and Hong Kong shares gaining after China's decision to ease some quarantine requirements for international arrivals that raised expectations for stronger growth and a revival in demand for commodities. China’s state planner officer said the country will roll out tools in its policy reserve in a timely way to cope with economic challenges, while the People's Bank of China also pledged to keep monetary policy supportive to aid the economy's recovery. Moreover, Japanese Nikkei ended above the psychologically important level of 27,000 for the first time in two weeks as energy shares surged.

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