SGX Nifty indicates a firm opening for the Nifty despite weak Asia-Pacific markets. Analysts expect the market to remain volatile during the settlement week of derivative contracts on the NSE on March 31.

SGX Nifty at 17,256 indicates a gap-up opening of about 60 points as Nifty futures on Friday closed at 17,194.

The Indian equity markets have consolidated for the last five trading sessions following a smart rally from panic lows, said Santosh Meena, Head of Research, Swastika Investmart Ltd.

"This week, we will have March month F&O expiry that may provide a direction to this range-bound market. So far, the March expiry remains good for the market, where Nifty and Sensex have gained more than 5 per cent and generally expiry tends to expire in the direction of the prevailing trend," he added.

Asian stocks down

Most equities across the Asia-Pacific are down marginally in early deals on Monday. While Australian stocks are up marginally, Taiwan stocks have slumped nearly 1.5 per cent; Japanese and Korean markets are down 0.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

"The domestic market will continue to follow global developments. An end to the war and a rise in oil supply can help Indiasustain its resilience or else high volatility will be a concern in the short-term," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services

According to Santosh Meena, "If we look at the derivative data then the put-call ratio is sitting at 0.94 level, which is slightly oversold, whereas FIIs' long exposure in the index future stands at the 53 per cent level, which is neutral. OI distribution indicates a range of 17000-17500 and any decisive move from this range will dictate further direction."

Nifty at crucial level

According to technical analysts, the Nifty benchmark is placed at a crucial level. “Resistance for Nifty is seen at 17,484, which happens to be the 61.8 per cent retracement of the entire downswing seen from 18604 to 15671. The mid-cap and small-cap index outperformed the benchmark index by closing the week slightly higher, suggesting stock specific buying,” according to Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.”

The markets are unable to sustain at higher levels as selling pressure has emerged around 17,350-17,400. A strong close above this can take the Nifty towards 17600-17750 zones, said Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.