Home / Markets / Stock Markets /  FPI invest 51,200 crore in Aug, highest since Dec ’20

Foreign investors have pumped in a little more than 51,200 crore into the equity markets in August, making it the highest inflow in 20 months, amid improving risk sentiment and stabilisation in oil prices.

This follows a net investment of nearly 5,000 crore by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in July, data with depositories showed.

Fund inflows
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Fund inflows

FPIs had turned buyers for the first time in July after nine straight months of massive net outflows, which started in October last year. Between October 2021 and June 2022, they withdrew 2.46 trillion from the equity markets.

India will continue to attract FPI flows this month, too, though at a slower pace as compared to August, given continued rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve along with quantitative tightening, said Manish Jeloka, co-head of products and solutions, Sanctum Wealth.

Inflation, dollar prices and interest rate will dictate FPI flows, said Arpit Jain, joint managing director at Arihant Capital Markets.

FPIs pumped in a net amount of 51,204 crore into equities during August, according to data with depositories.

This was the highest investment by foreign investors since December 2020, when they had infused a net 62,016 crore in equities.

“Foreign investors started pumping in money into emerging markets as interest rates curve flattened and oil prices stabilised. Currency markets gained sanity and commodity prices fell as China’s growth and financial market took a hit," said Vijay Singhania, chairman of TradeSmart.

Correction in Indian equities, and falling oil and commodity prices, especially that of steel and aluminum, are the major reasons for FPIs buying despite a strong dollar and rising bond yields, Jain said.

US inflation slowed down from a 40-year high in June to 8.5% in July on lower gasoline prices.

Consumer price index-based retail inflation marginally eased to 6.71% in July against 7.01% in June because of easing food prices.

Himanshu Srivastava, associate director-manager research, Morningstar India, said the net inflows over the last few weeks can be attributed to multiple factors.

While inflation continues to be at elevated levels, in recent times it has risen less than expectation, thus improving sentiments. This fanned expectation that the US Fed would be comparatively less aggressive than anticipated earlier with its rate hike, he noted.

Consequently, it eased recession fears in the US to some extent, thus improving investors’ risk appetite, he said.

On the domestic front, a correction in the Indian equity markets provided investors a good buying opportunity, he added.

Sanctum Wealth’s Jeloka believes that the inflation situation in India is significantly better than that in developed economies and it is expected to come below the upper end of the RBI’s tolerance level of 6%.

FPIs used this opportunity to hand-pick high-quality companies. They are now buying stocks of financials, capital goods, FMCG and telecom companies, he added.

In addition, FPIs infused a net amount of 3,844 crore in the debt market during the month under review.

Apart from India, flows were positive in Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand, while it was negative for the Philippines and Taiwan during August.

The month of September has begun with huge volatility in FPI flows.

On the first day of the month, FPIs bought equities worth a net 4,262 crore, but sold to the tune of 2,261 crore the very next day.

“This erratic trend is due to the uncertainty regarding dollar index and US bond yields," said V.K. Vijayakumar, chief investment strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

There is a view that the dollar and bond yields have peaked and when inflation starts trending down, the Fed will be less hawkish than now. This will facilitate more capital flows to emerging markets and India is the best emerging market to invest in now, he added.

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