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Domestic equity benchmark indices registered strong losses last week amid lacklustre trend in global markets. Equity markets across the globe lacked a concrete direction in the week gone by, ahead of Christmas holiday mood, and in the absence of any major cues. The Sensex lost 448.86 points or 1.69% to settle at 26,040.70. The Nifty fell 153.70 points or 1.88% to settle at 7,985.75.There was a broadbased decline as the BSE Mid-Cap index tumbled 3.88% and the BSE Small-Cap index shed 2.61%. As the curtains are ready to come down on 2016, the Indian benchmark indices, after losing almost half the gains made between February and September, are now hovering almost flat at the same level as at the end of 2015. The Sensex (26,041) is down 0.3% and the Nifty 50 (7,986) is up 0.5% so far in 2016 with just one trading week left.

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Market declined last week, tracking weakness in other global stocks after the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rate on 14 December 2016. After a 0.25% rate hike by the US Fed, global markets ended on a mixed note in the week gone by. While markets in the developed economies ended strong, the indices in the emerging economies fell on concerns of foreign investors pulling out money from these markets post the rate hike. The Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points and maintained a hawkish stance, indicating more rate hikes in 2017. Higher interest rates in the US could result in dollar outflows from emerging markets towards the US. This could result in volatility and uncertainty in flows into the Indian equity market and other emerging markets in the coming year. Moreover, the Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at record low of 0.25 per cent and maintained its easing stance.

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The last week was choppy. After an initial decline, the broader indices bounced back strongly on global cues. But the week ahead will be crucial as the indices are poised at a vital resistance zone and corporate results plus October derivatives expiry could induce volatility. The market ended higher in a volatile last week. The S&P BSE Sensex reclaimed the psychologically important 28,000 mark. The beginning of three-day GST council meet on Tuesday, 18 October 2016, to finalise the tax rate triggered positivity, which in turn resulted in short covering across the board during the course of the week. Last week, the Sensex rose 403.58 points or 1.46% to settle at 28,077.18. The Nifty 50 index rose 109.65 points or 1.28% to settle at 8,693.05. The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 182.76 points or 1.36% to settle at 13,602.38. The BSE Small-Cap index rose 255.45 points or 1.94% to settle at 13,432.21, outperforming the Sensex.

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