Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

India Markets Weekahead: Prudent to wait for the budget

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(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.

India Markets Weekahead – Company results key for market direction

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

Infosys stumped Indian markets again but for a change — positively. Recent management comments had built expectations of underperformance which led to cautious to negative views on the stock. Institutional investors were light on Infosys whereas the more adventurous speculators were short. And we were all caught on the wrong foot when the company declared a revenue growth as well as a net profit much better than consensus expectations.

India Markets Weekahead – Set for new high with no roadblock in sight

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A resolution for the U.S. “fiscal cliff” helped the markets cross the psychological Nifty benchmark of 6,000 to close the week up 1.82 percent at 6,016.

Though I expected a spirited rally, what we witnessed last week is a strong consolidation around 6,000 which could form a solid bottom for the next leg of the rally. This is also facilitating the entry of domestic retail investors which is visible in the mid-cap and small-cap volume and performance. The BSE small-cap index moved up 3.71 percent whereas the BSE mid-cap index gained 3.13 percent.

India Markets Weekahead – A breakout expected before the year ends

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

Markets struggled to hold beyond Nifty levels of 5900 and closed the week 0.47 percent down, breaking a three-week streak of gains. Uncertainty over the banking regulations bill seems to have overshadowed better-than-expected wholesale price index-based inflation data in November. Industrial production soared by 8.2 percent, surprising analysts and sending signals that green shoots of economic recovery are visible.

Will Indian stocks end 2012 on a happier note?

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(Rajiv Deep Bajaj is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Capital Ltd. The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The rally in the Indian stock markets, fuelled by the so-called reform announcements, seems to have fizzled out. Frontline indexes have retraced more than 60 percent of the gains made since Sep. 13, 2012, the day the reform measures were made public.

Overseas cues to drive market but policy paralysis may cap gains

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(The views expressed in this column are his own and do not represent those of Reuters)

The European Central Bank (ECB) came to the rescue of world markets including India, which had a spirited rally on Friday to wipe out the losses of the past two weeks. The rally continued during the special session on Saturday to close the week at 5359, gaining about 1.9 pct. The week started on a positive note due to the recommendation on General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) dilution but failed to maintain momentum due to various disappointing data points as well as the political imbroglio.

GAAR-supported bounceback tough to sustain

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

A reversal after four weeks of gains saw the Nifty closing 2.38 pct lower at 5258. The mid-cap segment of the market caved in earlier with the large caps holding fort till Thursday. The Parliament logjam continued on the “Coalgate” issue and hopes of any worthwhile business being conducted in this monsoon session are dim. Given the political scenario, the war-rooms of political parties are getting into election mode, which could be earlier than 2014. This too will hardly raise hopes for Indian markets as the electorate seems too fractured to have a strong government which would have the ability to push through reforms, including non-populist ones.

Liquidity reigns supreme as market ignores data points

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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.

Overseas cues to drive the market but limited upside

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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.

Hopes fade as investors await concrete action

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

It was an action-packed week for the markets but not for the reasons we had anticipated. Manmohan Singh’s government, which was expected to announce a string of policy action steps starting with a diesel price hike, failed to make any announcements which would have cheered markets.

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