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from Expert Zone:

India Markets Weekahead: Time to lighten commitments as extended honeymoon almost over

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The past week was one of the most eventful post the general elections, and the action continued till Saturday with a landmark speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the U.N. General Assembly and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram being sentenced to four years in jail in a corruption case. Markets were volatile and the Nifty closed the week at 7,968, down 2 percent despite a recovery on Friday.

The week started on a positive note but weaker European manufacturing data and concerns about growth in China led the markets to crack.  The Supreme Court’s decision to charge a penalty as well as deallocate almost all coal blocks awarded since 1993 led to another bout of selling in power, metal and banking stocks.

The deferring of decision to raise gas prices was also viewed negatively by investors as the new government was expected to be quick and decisive. As markets were sinking further below 7,900 levels, a ratings upgrade of the country by S&P came as a shot in the arm, helping the Nifty to bounce back above 7,950.  The launch of “Make in India” campaign was hailed by industry stalwarts as a game changer, boosting sagging market morale.

People walk past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/FilesMaharashtra’s assembly polls in October is being viewed as an important event to judge Modi’s continuing popularity, especially following the BJP’s weak performances in recent by-polls. The Sena-BJP combine was expected to have a cakewalk due to anti-incumbency against the ruling Congress-NCP combine. But the breakup of both these coalitions could throw up unexpected results and new post-poll alliances. A weak Maharashtra government may not bode well for the industrialization story.

from India Insight:

‘Vishwaroopam’ and Tamil Nadu’s cinema of politics

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The most unfortunate aspect of the censorship controversy over Kamal Haasan's new movie "Vishwaroopam," which came out on Thursday, is that it is happening in Tamil Nadu. India's southernmost state has a history of using cinema as a tool of political dissent and expression, particularly regarding the Dravidian movement, but that spirit seems to have vanished with the decision to release a truncated version of the film after Islamic groups said certain scenes offended them.

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