India Insight

Markets this week: Sesa Sterlite, NTPC top Sensex gainers

The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 2.4 percent this week as domestic-oriented stocks surged on hopes the incoming BJP government would keep up its promises to kick start an economy whose growth has dipped to its slowest in a decade.

Shares in companies such as Coal India, that are expected to benefit from an economic revival, and utilities performed well.

Sentiment was also boosted after Reuters reported that the finance ministry was working on a roadmap for cutting welfare spending and reining in deficit.

As of Friday’s close, India became the best performing equity market in Asia-Pacific for 2014 in dollar terms. The 30-share Sensex has gained 17 percent so far this year.

The rupee rose 0.4 percent for the week, posting its fourth straight weekly gain and its longest winning streak in 16 months.

Bharti Airtel, NTPC top Sensex losers this week

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Ankush Arora

The BSE Sensex recovered on Thursday and Friday after the index lost around 700 points in the first three trading sessions of the week. However, the index still ended down 0.4 percent as a weak rupee, concerns over foreign flows and uncertainty over the end of the U.S. Fed’s stimulus plan kept investors on the edge.

As a worsening current account deficit and inflation loomed large, the rupee hit fresh record lows below 65 per dollar in the week ending Aug. 23. However, gold prices and bonds rallied.

Fitch Ratings has warned Asia’s third-largest economy of a downgrade if the government fails to soothe tensions in the financial market. JP Morgan and HSBC downgraded Indian shares to ‘neutral’.

Markets this week: BHEL, Sun Pharma top Sensex losers

By Ankush Arora and Sankalp Phartiyal

It was a tough week for Indian shares with the benchmark indexes bearing the brunt as the rupee tumbled to a fresh all-time low of 61.80 versus the dollar on Tuesday. Fears of the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering its stimulus also weighed on street sentiment. The BSE Sensex and the Nifty ended down around 2 percent each during the week.

The day the rupee breached its latest record low, India appointed former IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan as the next Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor.

The central bank announced fresh steps after market hours on Thursday to curb volatility in the forex market. The rupee posted its best single-day gain in two weeks in anticipation of support measures by the RBI and the government.

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