Corporate earnings, inflation data to guide markets: Experts

Corporate earnings, inflation data to guide markets: Experts New Delhi: Stock markets may consolidate this week as investors are likely to trade cautiously in view of key macroeconomic data such as industrial production and inflation, experts have said.

Besides, third quarter earnings will also continue to dictate trend in the short-term, they added.

Among major corporate earnings this week are ONGC, Tata Power, Tata Steel, Tata Motors and State Bank of India.

The December IIP data on Tuesday and January wholesale price index (WPI) inflation figure on Thursday will be in focus.

"This week may see consolidation in Indian markets as investors will remain cautious after an unexpected drop in advance GDP estimates and ahead of IIP and inflation data.

"Nifty has corrected by over 2 percent in February and more profit-booking could be coming ahead as we head towards Budget session. Stock-specific action will also continue amidst ongoing earnings season, but undertone will remain bearish," said Vikas Jain, Founder, Aditya Trading Solutions.

Market experts said once the results season concludes, investors' focus will shift to expectations from the Union Budget 2013-14 to be presented on February 28.

"Weak GDP numbers have dampened the market sentiment, however, any positive cues from global markets may help in recovery. In coming sessions, 5,900 level shall be crucial deciding factor in near-term for Nifty and the index is likely to witness further selling below this level," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.

According to Kishor P Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research: "There is hardly two weeks left for the budget. As suggested after breaking 5,950 support market tested another support of 5,900. It (Nifty) may even test 5,850 on Monday. If market crosses 5,950 on Monday then it may bounce back to 6,020."

India's economic growth rate is estimated to slip to a decade's low of 5 percent in 2012-13, pulled down by poor performance of manufacturing, agriculture and services sectors.

The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) had last week said growth would decline from 6.2 percent in 2011-12 to 5 percent, much lower than the projections of the Reserve Bank and other agencies.

PTI