India Insight

Markets this week: ITC, Infosys top Sensex losers

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Ankush Arora

Brokers trade on their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/FilesThe benchmark BSE Sensex fell in three of five sessions this week, as higher crude prices hurt sentiment and the cabinet’s decision to delay a hike in gas prices disappointed investors. Caution also prevailed ahead of the June derivatives’ expiry on Thursday and fears of more violence in Iraq prompted investors to pare positions.

A Reuters poll on Thursday forecast the 30-share Sensex hitting 27,750 points by the end of December, following a brief correction after the budget.

For the week, the BSE Sensex ended 0.02 percent lower. Investors are now awaiting the new government’s first budget on July 10.

While investors remain hopeful of a pre-budget rally, the progress of the ongoing monsoon is key. Monsoon rains, which continue to be below average, are expected to revive early next month.

In its biannual Financial Stability Report on Thursday, the Reserve Bank said prospects of India’s economic recovery look bright following the formation of a stable government.

Markets this week: Infosys, Sesa Sterlite top Sensex losers

The BSE Sensex closed in the red twice this week, eventually ending with losses of 0.5 percent. The week began with the benchmark index touching an all-time high of 22,023.98 points in trade on Monday, aided by strong foreign buying.

Shares retreated from record highs as investors booked profits and by Friday, some caution was setting in about the pace of recent gains.

Key economic data released this week showed prices cooling as wholesale and consumer inflation eased and industrial output rose slightly, raising hopes that the Reserve Bank of India would leave its key interest rate unchanged at its policy meet in April.

Analysts remain positive on India’s IT stocks after 2013 rally

India’s information technology services businesses will continue to benefit from improving client demand from developed countries in 2014, pushing stocks higher after a stellar performance last year, analysts told India Insight.

India’s No. 1 IT services exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and its rival Infosys beat analysts’ expectations in their financial results that were released earlier this month. They also raised their sales growth forecasts on signs of improving economies in the United States and Europe.

“In Europe we are gaining market share; in U.S. things are looking up – that will drive discretionary and new technology spends,” said Kuldeep Koul, IT-sector analyst at ICICI Securities. “What’s also helping the industry … is the fact that the rupee continues to remain at very benign levels.”

Markets this week: Sensex up 1.5 percent; BHEL, Infosys jump 5 percent

By Ankush Arora and Aditya Kalra

The BSE Sensex gained 1.5 percent this week, its first weekly gain in 2014, as easing headline inflation data raised hopes the Reserve Bank of India would keep interest rates unchanged at its Jan. 28 meet.

Headline inflation eased to a five-month low of 6.16 percent in December on lower prices of vegetables. This was the slowest pace of growth since July 2013 and below economists’ expectations of 7 percent.

Sentiment was also boosted for the rupee, which rose 0.6 percent during the week to touch a five-week high. However, share losses on Friday weighed on the currency.

Markets this week: Sensex gains 3 percent, Tata Motors surges 10 percent

The BSE Sensex rose 3 percent during the week, ending in the green for four of the five trading sessions. Improved guidance from Infosys, hopes of a U.S. deal to avoid a default on its debt and the RBI’s decision to cut a key overnight interest rate helped sentiment.

Data released on Thursday showed India’s trade deficit narrowed to a two-and-a-half-year low in September, raising hopes for a significant reduction in the country’s current account deficit.

The rupee ended at 61.07/08 per dollar, helped by good dollar sales by corporates and as emerging currencies rose with risk sentiment improving.

Markets this week: Sensex gains 2.7 percent, Maruti surges 11 percent

By Ankush Arora and Sankalp Phartiyal

The BSE Sensex rose 2.7 percent in the week ending September 20, as foreign inflows and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to continue with its bond-buying programme boosted market sentiment.

The benchmark index, which is now up 9 percent in September and has gained for four consecutive weeks, touched its highest level since November 2010 on Thursday after the Fed’s surprising move. Analysts said the U.S. central bank’s decision could lead to a resurgence of portfolio flows into emerging markets such as India.

On Friday, the Reserve Bank of India stunned markets by raising the repo rate by 25 basis points (bps), but some of the recent rupee support measures were trimmed. The Indian currency gained 2 percent in the last five sessions and ended the week at 62.23/24 per dollar.

Tracking Sensex: L&T top loser this week

By Aditya Kalra and Sankalp Phartiyal

The Sensex lost 2 percent and the Nifty slipped 2.3 percent in a tough week for stocks as Indian markets remained cautious ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy review on July 30.

The benchmark Sensex, which ended in the red for three of five trading sessions, touched a 2-1/2 year high during the week as consumer goods shares surged.

The rupee continues to be in focus as it hit a five-week high on Friday. The RBI tightened liquidity further on Tuesday to support the rupee and the central bank is likely to hold rates at its policy review next week.

Tracking Sensex: Top gainers, losers in May

By Aditya Kalra and Ankush Arora

Key stock indexes eked out small gains in the month of May, with the BSE Sensex gaining 1.3 percent and the Nifty rising almost 1 percent.

The stock market adage ‘sell in May and go away‘ didn’t quite hold true for the Sensex this year, as the index ended in the green after falling for three consecutive years in May.

The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates by 25 basis points this month and India saw its inflation figure ease below 5 percent. However, GDP data on May 31 came in line with expectations, damping hopes of further rate action.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan: the changing nature of conflict

Early last year a group of Indian and Pakistan retired generals and strategic experts sat down for a war-gaming exercise in Washington. The question, predictably enough, was at what point during a conventional war, would the generals in Rawalpindi GDQ reach for the nuclear trigger.

In the event, the simulated war took on an unpredictable turn, which in some ways was more illuminating than the question of nuclear escalation, as columnist Ashok Malik writes in The Great Divide:India and Pakistan, a collection of essays by experts on both sides of the border.

The exercise begins with an Indian military strike on militant camps in Pakistani Kashmir, the most commonly envisaged scenario for the next India-Pakistan war.  But the Pakistan response defies conventional logic . They don't order a military push into Indian Punjab and Rajasthan, they don't even attack Bombay High, the most valuable Indian oil asset in the Arabian Sea, and well within striking distance of the Pakistani Air Force.

The Unique Identity number — putting all eggs in one basket?

There was a television ad some time back where a village leader played by Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan cutely decrees that feuding villagers would be known by their mobile numbers rather than names denoting caste or community.

It’s an idea that no longer seems far-fetched.

This week, the finance minister allocated 1200 million rupees to  the Unique Identification Authority of India, headed by former Infosys chief Nandan Nilekani.

The project provides a unique identity number, something like the U.S. social security number, to India’s billion-plus citizens.

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