Domestic markets are likely to open on a negative note on Thursday, as the broader market will remain under pressure, said analysts. Today being the settlement day for F&O February contracts on the NSE, experts believe volatility for individual stocks would increase, and advise investors to remain cautious.

Gift Nifty at 21,937 indicates a gap-down opening of over 100 points.

Ashwin Ramani, Derivatives & Technical Analyst, SAMCO Securities, said: The India VIX, known as the fear indicator, closed at 16.33. A strong move above 16.50 can give discomfort to the bulls ahead of the monthly expiry Thursday, he said.

The level of 22,200 has been a strong resistance for Nifty over the previous two trading sessions. On Wednesday, call writers (Bears) entry and put writers (Bulls) exiting were observed at the 22,200-strike, thereby, making the resistance even stronger. The level of 22,000 also saw significant call writing (bear’s activity), he added. The option activity at 22,000 strike will provide cues about Nifty’s direction, he further said.

According to Mandar Bhojane, Research Analyst, Choice Broking said: “A scrutiny of Open Interest (OI) data revealed that the call side displayed the highest OI at 22,000, followed by the 22,300 strike prices. On the put side, the maximum OI was observed at the 21,800 strike price.”

According to analysts, global markets have struggled for direction over the week, ahead of key US economic data -- second estimate of GDP, PCE and manufacturing data -- amidst the Fed showing no hurry to cut rates given the upside risk to inflation.

Technically, selling pressure has intensified, said analysts.

“On daily charts, the index has formed a long bearish candle, which indicates further weakness from the current levels. For traders now, as long as the index trades below 22100/72800 the weak sentiment is likely to continue. Below the same, the market could slip till 21850-21815/72000-71850. On the other side, above 22000/72450, we could see a minor pullback rally till 22050-22070/72600-72700,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head – Equity Research.