Advance-decline ratio at multi-year lows; Nifty midcaps, smallcaps fall

The advance-decline ratio, a key indicator for market breadth, has dropped to multi-year lows. It stood at 0.1 per cent, with only 183 stocks advancing and 1,658 declining on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in September. Such a weak market breadth was seen after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The broader market stocks witnessed a huge correction in September with the Nifty Midcap 100 index dropping 14 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index plunging 20 per cent. It was the biggest monthly fall for the two indices since October 2008.  Gains in technology stocks limited the fall in the Nifty 50 index to 6.4 per cent. As it is, the advance-decline ratio this year has been weak. With the exception of April and August, when the Nifty had gained 6.2 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, there have been more stocks declining than advancing in each of the months of 2018. This is despite the Nifty gaining nearly 4 per cent during the year. Low advance-decline ratio means money-making through equity investing has been a challenge this year.

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