Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

‘Sense of disbelief’ in markets to extend current rally

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

As they say, it is always darkest before the dawn. Equity markets seem to be the finest proponents of this axiom. They have a habit of surprising investors. What we have seen so far in 2012 sums it up pretty well.

Rewind to December and it seemed that markets might fall into an abyss — falling rupee, rising inflation, tight liquidity, sovereign debt concerns in Europe, FII outflows, rising fiscal deficit and widening current account deficit made a perfect recipe for disaster. Fast forward to the present and we have seen the rupee recover by 10 pct from its lows, inflation down to 7.5 pct, RBI supporting the rupee and infusing liquidity by way of OMOs and a CRR cut, European Central Bank (ECB) on its way to infuse huge chunks of liquidity in the banking system, possibility of U.S. Fed keeping rates low through 2014, FIIs resuming their inflows in Indian equities and current account deficit being expected to narrow due to an import duty hike on gold imports.

Equity markets are up more than 15 pct in 2012 in a rally which at first looked like a short covering rally, but later, due to its sheer ferocity, has made some people think it may be the start of a more sustainable upward move.

Stock market under stress

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

The first big jolt to the market after the 2008 crisis had come last August when FIIs disinvested 95 billion rupees worth of equity and moved into liquid assets. That brought the Sensex down by 1500 points and pulled the dollar up by 4 rupees.

2012 – Boom or Doom?

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

What a year 2011 has been. Except certain commodities such as gold and oil, every other asset class has been hit. With Sensex down more than 20 pct YTD, 10 year g-sec yields up by almost 1 pct and rupee down by almost 14 pct against the dollar, it has been a poor year for investors. This was caused by a bout of strong global risk aversion led by the European sovereign debt crisis, high inflation in emerging markets and consequent monetary tightening, and lack of proper policy action in India. The only salvation came from commodities such as oil (up almost 26 pct in rupee terms) and gold (up almost 38 pct in rupee terms).

Sensex: Key takeaways from 2011

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(Nipun Mehta is an award-winning private banker with many years of experience across Asia. The views expressed in the column are his own and not those of Reuters)

About a year back in November, we were at the highest ever level of the Sensex with hopes of moving higher. A year hence, as we inch closer to the end of 2011, the Sensex has fallen more than 26 pct from its peak, and then recovered a bit.

Indian stocks: Paradise for value investors

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

The BSE Sensex romance with the 16,000 level seems to have been rekindled, with the Sensex closing below it on August 26, after a gap of more than 18 months during which it touched a high of 21,109 (missing the all-time high of 21,207 by a whisker).

Watch out for early signs of peaking inflation and slowing growth

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

Indian equities, after recovering smartly during much of 2009 and 2010, have again started exhibiting high volatility over the last six months. At a global level, this time it is emerging markets which are leading the downside in equities. Even among emerging markets, Indian stocks have looked weaker.

When will the stock market recover?

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

For nearly nine weeks now, the market has been entertaining the bears with the Sensex dropping 1,456 points. That was not a delayed reaction to the Budget. On the contrary, the market had responded well with a 9 pct jump in March. Obviously, there were other things that went wrong.

Value buying to emerge in key large caps

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Selling pressure continued over fresh concerns of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis with derivative contract expiry providing the volatility. The market-wise rollovers were almost 83.2 percent as compared to 82.8 percent last month.

On the sectoral front, most of the rollovers were seen on the short side. Select long rolls were seen in pharma, OMCs and FMCG sector whereas sectors like infrastructure, banking, capital goods and technology saw short positions getting rolled in the month of June.

Budget 2011: Good news for mutual fund industry?

An employee counts rupees at a cash counter inside a bank in Mumbai June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Rupak de Chowdhuri/Files(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own own and do not represent those of either Principal Pnb or Reuters)

When it comes to the mutual fund industry, the 2011-12 budget has good news and not so bad news.

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