Money on the markets

A maturing market amid the mayhem

from Expert Zone:

Stock market under stress

(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.

The FIIs wanted to reduce their risk which had been heightened by the EU crisis. It was not Greece alone but even Italy, the third largest European economy, which was in danger of sovereign debt default. These governments could borrow only at interest rates over 7 pct, about 2 pct more than the average rate for EU countries.

Undoubtedly, the prospects for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) were grim and there could have been sheer chaos had a weak state like Greece or a strong state like Germany left the Union. France and Germany did finally persuade other members to accept fiscal consolidation and establish a permanent bailout fund. An early agreement failed mainly because of the veto exercised by Britain. Hence, a new treaty will have to be signed which is not likely before March.

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