As we approach the weekend, domestic markets are anticipated to open flat on Friday. It’s worth noting that market participation is expected to remain low, primarily due to the long weekend holidays. This is because the market will be closed on Monday for local polling related to the general election, a factor that could influence trading volumes and market dynamics.

Gift Nifty at 22,480 signals a flat-to-positive opening as Nifty futures on Thursday closed at 22,452. Foreign portfolio investors continue their selling spree in Indian markets. According to analysts, they also piled up short positions on index futures.

Vikram Kasat, Head - Advisory, Prabhudas Lilladher, said that the FIIs’ long-short ratio is 0.38. Notably, FIIs hold 3.96 lakh contracts short in futures, marking the biggest short position in Index futures, both in value and contracts, even after accounting for the reduction in Nifty and Bank Nifty lot sizes. 

“Overall, the market is showing positive momentum with bulls coming back. Now, key supports need to be defended to give a new upside trajectory,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the 40,000 mark on Thursday for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intra-day high of 40,000 for the first time but closed 38.62 points, or 0.10 per cent, lower to 39,869.38; the S&P 500 slipped 11.05 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 5,297.10 and the Nasdaq 44.07 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 16,698.32.

Most Asian stocks are ruling down in early deals on Friday.

Ajit Mishra – SVP, Research, Religare Broking Ltd, said: The participation of major players in the banking and IT sectors, coupled with cues from the US markets, is expected to be crucial going forward. Traders are advised to adjust their strategies accordingly, with focus on stock selection.

Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research at Kotak Securities, said: The short-term market texture is weak, but we could see a one technical pullback rally from the current levels due to temporary oversold conditions. For the traders now, 22000/72550 would be a key level to watch out for. Over 22000/72550, the market could bounce back till 22100-22150/72300-72500. On the flip side, below 22000/72550, the weak sentiment is likely to continue below, and the market could slip till 21850-21800/72100-72000.