Straight from the Specialists
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
The United States is the largest economy with a share of more than 22 percent in the world GDP. Naturally, even small changes in its behaviour have a perceptible impact worldwide. To India, the United States counts for a lot, although possibly less than it does for China.
The Indian economy is linked with the U.S. economy through three major routes. First, the United States is a market for more than a fifth of India’s total exports. In 2012-13, our exports declined because the U.S. economy had slowed down. Since June, our exports have been growing steadily to coincide with its recovery. The sector which has and is most likely to benefit is information technology. The manufacturing industry could not share the export boom or step up growth. This is one reason why non-oil imports shrunk and consequently reduced the trade deficit and the current account deficit.
Second, there is a strong link with the United States through investment, both portfolio and direct. FII investment is extremely sensitive to U.S. economic trends and policies. When the Federal Reserve announced its intention to reduce quantitative easing (QE), the world bourses reacted adversely — the BSE more than most others. FIIs partly exited the Indian market with the result that in 2013, there was a net outflow. That put pressure on the rupee, which depreciated substantially against the dollar.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)
After showing promise early in the week, the markets turned gloomy on Thursday with a sharp correction, ending the week with a 0.63 percent fall at 5850 – close to the support levels of 5840 which hasn’t been violated on a closing basis.
The Nifty crossed 5350 levels last week after nearly three months with strong buying by FIIs, closing about two pct higher at 5320. Stronger than expected U.S. payroll data, positive cues from the euro zone and comments from Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram assuring to unveil a path of fiscal consolidation and undertake remedial measures to revive the domestic economy, boosted investor sentiment.
However, negative IIP data along with weak corporate results disappointed the markets in the latter half of the week, causing the indices to trim some of the earlier gains.
A positive week for the markets saw volatility in a narrow band with Nifty gaining about 115 points to close at 5216, a gain of about 2.25 pct. The midcaps and small caps outperformed the frontline stocks indicating retail interest.
FIIs continued with their buying spree lapping up about US$ 535 million worth of stocks. The new finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram was given a thumbs up but expectations of any radical move are low especially after the disappointment from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the last fortnight.
(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)
The rupee has been uneasy and the stock market nervous since the beginning of this year. The two are not unrelated. For, the fall of the market has been due to absence of FII investment which also deprived the currency market of dollar supply. The outflows more or less matched the inflows and the rupee, with corresponding fluctuations, ended up in August where it had started in January.