Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Sharp fall in Nifty: Understanding flash crash, algo trading

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Global markets have witnessed flash crashes in the recent past, the most famous one being on May 6, 2010 when U.S. markets dropped 600 points in a matter of minutes, only to recover later. But the one which we witnessed Friday on the National Stock Exchange resulted in the market being shut for a while.

Generally, algorithmic (algo) trading is associated with flash crashes as unlike a manual trader, the software logic doesn’t have the mind of a human. With several algos at work across various brokerages, one such abnormal move activates the programme logic at umpteen algo desks, resulting in destructive market moves.

Any manual trading terminal having such huge limits are manned by experienced dealers with enough safeguards, hence I was a bit flabbergasted when it was reported that the NSE flash crash was due to manual error and not due to algo-related orders.

A gift for Mahatma Gandhi

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(Rajan Ghotgalkar is Managing Director of Principal Pnb Asset Management Company. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

Having replaced the feudal princes by colonising India, the British Civil Service carried on with the master-subject relationship which, understandably, entitled them to huge discretionary powers.

Markets Weekahead: Watch out for Nifty levels of 5,900, mid-cap shares to shine

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The week was expected to be volatile with a possibility of a minor correction but turned out to be one of consolidation. The Nifty closed at 5,703, higher by 12 points, its fourth straight week of gains. Indian markets have been among the best performing ones with gains of 8.46 pct in September. FIIs continued to pour in with last week’s tally at $1.42 billion.

Weighing the Obama-Romney calculus

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Much is at stake in the United States presidential elections this year, perhaps more in terms of policy than in the past few election cycles. The presidency of Barack Obama has been fraught with battles in a deeply divided Congress, leading to paralyses on some major agenda such as government debt, and significant compromises on others such as healthcare reform.

A good start but we need more reforms

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

It’s been a pleasant surprise over the last week or so as the Indian government appears to have transformed itself from allegedly corrupt politicians out to sell the country’s resources (read 2G and coal mines) into a group which means serious business.

How QE3 changes commodity prices

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

On Sept. 13, the U.S. Fed announced the QE3 program whereby it purchases mortgage-backed securities at $40bn per month with no time limit. It also pushed out guidance on keeping a low funds rate to mid-2015 from late 2014.

That’s the spirit, Mr Prime Minister

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(Rajan Ghotgalkar is Managing Director of Principal Pnb Asset Management Company. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

Manmohan Singh’s “if we have to go down, let’s go down fighting” comment is exactly the spirit which needs to be demonstrated by those in power. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Some pain needed for long-term growth story

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(Rajan Ghotgalkar is Managing Director of Principal Pnb Asset Management Company. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

The senior Bush’s call for a new world order following the end of the Cold War began unravelling authoritarian regimes which formed its delivery mechanism around the world.

Trade freedom: how imports support U.S. jobs

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Conventional wisdom says that exports are beneficial and imports are harmful. Conventional wisdom is wrong. A key element of this misperception is the mistaken idea that imports into a country cost jobs there. In fact, imports contribute to job creation.

QE3 could boost Nifty to 5,550-5,600 in the short term

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Indian markets have been buoyant since the European Central Bank’s decision on the unlimited sovereign bond buying program announced last week and the German Constitutional Court’s nod on Wednesday for the same.

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