Money on the markets

A maturing market amid the mayhem

from Expert Zone:

Get set for an action-packed week

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

Markets continued to display weakness during the week except for a spirited, though limited, rally on July 18 after the UPA convinced belligerent ally Mamata Banerjee to fall in line for the presidential elections. The Nifty lost 0.4 pct to close the week at 5205 on political worries after the NCP, another government ally, expressed dissatisfaction with its functioning.

International markets were volatile due to encouraging earnings from U.S. companies on one hand and the deepening Euro crisis on the other. Though a bailout has been approved for Spanish banks, yields on bonds continue to rise and is a cause for worry. The rupee was range-bound and closed at 55.32 rupees.

The week was low on data points, with only inflation and a few corporate results being declared. Inflation at 7.25 pct was a tad lower than expectations but these figures may get revised upwards in the next few weeks. Axis Bank surprised on the bottom line but analysts are worried about rising NPAs, thus it closed flat for the week. Bajaj Auto had a huge short build-up prior to the results as market men were expecting a pathetic set of numbers. A surprise from the two-wheeler major forced short-sellers to cover their positions leading to a 11 pct rally from the week’s low point. Reliance Industries reported its results after market hours on Friday, which were slightly higher than market expectations on the back of robust refining margins. The profits would have been higher but for lower-than-expected petrochemical margins which limited gains. The stock may hold ground at current levels due to buyback support from the company.

from Expert Zone:

India Market Weekahead – Policy action, rupee to decide market direction

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

The week gone by displayed indecisiveness by participants as the markets garnered small gains after moving in a tight range. The Nifty managed to hold on to the 4900 level mark as investors cheered the government’s announcement to raise petrol prices in an attempt to revive the policy inaction tag.

from India Insight:

It’s time India bites the diesel bullet

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"81 rupees?" asked an astonished TV anchor when an irate Bengaluru-based consumer called in after the recent 7.5-rupee hike in petrol prices. Perhaps cars that run on milk are now needed, the anchor suggested -- when the caller said the dairy product costs around 30 rupees a litre.

While milk-powered automobiles might be a distant dream, the reality remains that those relying on petrol vehicles will now need to do their budgeting again. If a falling rupee and high inflation were not enough, this steepest-ever rise in petrol prices will surely pinch.

from India Insight:

The rupee’s fall from grace

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Indian milk and dairy products producer Amul’s campaign has a new subject -- the rupee.

The newspaper advertisement features the iconic Amul girl, in her polka dotted red dress, in a boat made of the rupee, about to sink in turbulent waters. She says ‘mujhe mere rupee se bachaao!’ in Hindi. Loosely translated into English, it would mean 'save me from my rupee.'

from India Insight:

As the economy and markets struggle, India needs tough actions

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Slowing growth, a falling rupee, sliding stock markets, a rising current account deficit, drying foreign inflows and policy paralysis at the centre. Things certainly don’t look rosy for India.

With the rupee down 22 percent in the last 10 months and a 6 percent drop in stock markets so far in May (as of Friday’s close), is it time for the government to seriously rethink its strategy ahead of the 2014 general elections?

from Expert Zone:

India Market Weekahead – Volatile market within a narrow range

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

A sharper-than-expected cut of 50 basis points in the repo rate boosted the benchmark indices early during the week. However, as expected, the Nifty could not gain higher than 5350 as apprehensions about the limited scope of further rate cuts suppressed sentiment.

from Expert Zone:

Brace for volatility, but utilise opportunity

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

After a 21 percent run so far this year due to unabated liquidity flow, markets paused for two weeks in a row with a cut of close to 5 percent. Data showing a slowdown in GDP growth in Q3 December spooked investors while macroeconomic worries arising from high oil prices also weighed on sentiments.

from Expert Zone:

India Market Weekahead: RBI policy holds the key

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

Markets extended a rally for the third consecutive week led by strong FII inflows. FIIs have pumped in $1.2 billion so far this year as risk sentiment stabilised after several European debt auctions saw lower borrowing rates and overwhelming demand. Improvement in U.S. economic data, rupee appreciation and December quarter earnings exceeding lower expectations helped the market rally nearly 8 pct in three weeks.

from Expert Zone:

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.

from Expert Zone:

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).

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