India country-specific exchange traded funds were gaining momentum Monday, with benchmarks climbing for the fourth consecutive day, after New Dehli started easing the countrywide lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 Index both closed higher Monday, marking their longest winning streak since April 30, Bloomberg reports.
Indian equities also rallied alongside other Asian markets after President Donald Trump held back on a severe reaction to China’s new national security law in Hong Kong. Many feared that the U.S. would engage in another protracted trade war with China, sending global markets into another downward spiral.
New Dehli has outlined a phased rollback of shutdown measures. It will first allow malls, restaurants, and places of worship to open from June 8. The more stringent rules will be applied to areas still seeing a large number of active cases until at least June 30.
“Opening up the economy is compulsory to manage the coming contraction in growth even as virus cases continue to rise,” Chokkalingam G, Head of Investment Advisory at Equinomics Research & Advisory Pvt., told Bloomberg “Not opening up the economy will lead to an unmanageable crisis.”
However, many still warn of ongoing weakness in India’s economy. Economists expect a contraction in India’s gross domestic product in the fiscal year through March 2021, which could mark the first decline in over four decades.
Additionally, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded India’s credit rating to just above junk Monday, highlighting, the protracted period of weak growth in Asia’s third-largest economy, increasing debt and ongoing problems in parts of the country’s financial system, Reuters reports. The ratings agency argued that the pandemic didn’t directly cause the downgrade but only amplified underlying vulnerabilities in the emerging economy’s credit profile.
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