Foreign investors infuse Rs 11,557 cr in equities in December so far; COVID updates to drive flows in near term, say experts

Despite a market correction and increasing concerns over comeback of coronavirus (COVID) in China and some other parts of the world, Foreign portfolio investors have infused a net Rs 11,557 crore in Indian equities in December so far.

V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services in his comment said that going ahead, the macro data from the US and COVID news will drive FPI flows and the markets in the near term.

Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) invested a net sum of Rs 11,557 crore in equities during December 1-23, according to data with the depositories.

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This comes following a net investment of over Rs 36,200 crore in November primarily due to weakening of the US dollar index and positivity about overall macroeconomic trends.

Prior to this, foreign investors pulled out Rs 8 crore in October and Rs 7,624 crore in September, data with the depositories showed.

“Despite correction in the markets, increasing concerns over re-emergence of COVID in some parts of the world and recession worries in the US, FPIs remained net buyers in the Indian equity markets (in December),” said Himanshu Srivastava, Associate Director – Manager Research, Morningstar India.

However, the quantum of net inflow was much lower at a little over Rs 1,000 crore in the week ended December 23, compared to Rs 6,055 crore recorded in the previous week.

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The fall in net inflow does indicate that foreign investors are gradually turning cautious given the recent developments and ongoing uncertainties, he noted.

“Concerns about COVID spread in China is a sentiment negative and the strong economic data from the US indicate continuation of the hawkish stance of the Fed which is pushing bond yields up and equities down. Only reversal of this trend will trigger a rebound in the market,” Vijayakumar said.

Also, in the midst of the ongoing uncertainty, many investors would also have chosen to book profits with Indian markets touching all-time highs recently.

In the first half of December, FPIs were buyers in autos, capital goods, FMCG and real estate stocks, while they were sellers in consumer durables, oil and gas, power and financials.

Overall, FPIs have pulled out a net sum of Rs 1.21 lakh crore from the equity markets so far in 2022.

Foreign investors have withdrawn a net sum of Rs 2,900 crore from the debt markets during December.

Barring India, FPI flows were negative across emerging markets such as the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia so far this month.

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