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A maturing market amid the mayhem

from Expert Zone:

Sensex: Key takeaways from 2011

(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.

In the interim, there have been bouts of volatility, long periods of dull range-bound movements, and a lot of events and learnings from the domestic and international markets.

The biggest learning in the last year has been for the present generation of investors who would not have seen such a long period of stock market underperformance and for whom the definition of long-term has changed. For those who started investing after 2003, the last three years have been an excruciating period yielding seriously negative returns. Most of these portfolios are still a few years away from returning to green. The key lesson is, short-term is out and long-term is in, with long-term to be defined as more than three years.

LIVE BLOG: Sensex, Nifty plunge to 2011 lows


The BSE Sensex and Nifty plunged to fresh 2011 lows in Wednesday trade, a day before the expiry of derivatives contracts, amid renewed worries about faltering global growth.

Should the petrol price hike be rolled back?


A petrol price hike always results in unhappy consumers, street protests and politicians trying to accuse the ruling government of being insensitive.

State-run oil marketing firms’ petrol price hike of 1.8 rupees per litre, the fourth such increase since March and the 10th since prices were decontrolled in June 2010, is another blow to the common man, already reeling under the pressure of rising food prices.

from India Insight:

God and the central banker

Can central bankers play god to the markets? India's central bank chief Duvvuri Subbarao does not believe so. In doing so, the Reserve Bank of India governor, a physics student, has taken refuge in quantum mechanics.

Subbarao takes the example of Einstein, who could not reconcile to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics all through his life.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

Twisted Sister and the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve's "Operation Twist" has set the literary- and musical-allusion juices flowing.  It is all about the Fed selling or not rolling over short-term debt and buying long-term bonds instead in order to keep borrowing costs low.

But that is frightfully dull for economists, analysts and reporters trying to get attention for their work. So, so far we have heard:

BSE Banking index down nearly 1 pct


Shares in the banking index struggled in trade on Wednesday as the index ended 0.93 percent lower.

Canara Bank was worst hit in trade, ending with losses of 2.45 percent, followed by ICICI shares which lost nearly 2 percent.

Bankex falls ahead of RBI policy review


Banking shares fell on Wednesday ahead of the RBI’s policy review, with the sectoral index falling 1.6 percent.

Axis Bank shares fell 2.7 percent and ended as the top loser in the index, followed by SBI which dropped 2.3 percent.

Tata Motors shares fall nearly 3 pct


Shares in Tata Motors ended down 2.84 percent on Tuesday and closed at 984 rupees.

UBS downgraded the stock to “sell” from “buy” and cut the price target to 920 rupees from 1,360 rupees on fears of constricted growth and margins.

Bankex falls 1.5 pct


The BSE Banking index ended the day down 1.5 percent with stocks like Yes Bank and ICICI falling more than 3 percent.

SBI shares however bucked the trend and ended marginally in green.

Worries about more rate hikes have been bothering this sector, and banking funds recorded a fall of more than 5 percent in May.