Straight from the Specialists
(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.
FII buying dipped considerably during the week, estimated at about $90 million. Worries that U.S. Federal Reserve may taper off bond buying led to a crack in the world markets on Thursday, and the Nifty fell 91 points, with most of the mid-caps breaking recent lows. The only silver lining was lower-than-average volumes, thus some buying support on Friday saw the markets holding steady.
The much-awaited banking license guidelines were announced by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday. On the face of it, it seems anybody having a 10-year track record and ability to come up with 5 billion rupees in equity capital can set up a bank. But with the RBI having sole discretion on approvals, very few unblemished names from “acceptable” sectors will be able to pass muster.
The Nifty crossed 5350 levels last week after nearly three months with strong buying by FIIs, closing about two pct higher at 5320. Stronger than expected U.S. payroll data, positive cues from the euro zone and comments from Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram assuring to unveil a path of fiscal consolidation and undertake remedial measures to revive the domestic economy, boosted investor sentiment.
However, negative IIP data along with weak corporate results disappointed the markets in the latter half of the week, causing the indices to trim some of the earlier gains.
A positive week for the markets saw volatility in a narrow band with Nifty gaining about 115 points to close at 5216, a gain of about 2.25 pct. The midcaps and small caps outperformed the frontline stocks indicating retail interest.
FIIs continued with their buying spree lapping up about US$ 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.