Money on the markets

A maturing market amid the mayhem

from Expert Zone:

India Market Weekahead: RBI policy holds the key

(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.

The initial set of corporate results surprised the street as HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Wipro, TCS, HCL Technologies and Hero MotoCorp posted better-than-expected numbers.

However, Reliance Industries (RIL) disappointed with a net profit de-growth of 13.6 pct year-on-year on the back of lower refining and petrochem margins. Its gross refining margins declined sharply to $6.8 per barrel from $9 per barrel. The buyback of $2 billion at a maximum price up to 870 rupees/share for up to 120 million shares or 3.6 pct equity via open market is seen as a cover-up for the subdued results. RIL stock has already gained 8 pct during the week after the announcement of the buy-back program. We may see a knee-jerk reaction to the results when trading opens on Monday but the buy-back may provide a cushion at the lower end.

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.

from Expert Zone:

2012 – Boom or Doom?

(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).

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.

LIVE BLOG: Sensex, Nifty plunge to 2011 lows

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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.

Sensex touches 20,000 – Highlights

Share your views as the Sensex crosses the 20,000 mark for the first time since January 2008.

ICICI Bank shares jump

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Shares in ICICI Bank rose as much as 4.2 percent in trade before closing 3.9 percent up after the lender posted a 17-percent rise in quarterly net profit on Saturday.

India’s top private lender also forecast a 15-percent credit growth in FY 2011 as loan demand from corporate and mortgage borrowers remain strong.

Wipro ends lower after results

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Profit sales saw Wipro shares end 0.8 percent lower on Friday after the firm reported a forecast-beating, 31-percent rise in quarterly profit.

The firm said it was seeing strong business environment, which helped pull up sectoral stocks early in the day. The stock had risen as much as 4.2 percent in trade.

IT counters post decent gains

The BSE IT Index gained 1.7 percent on Tuesday as expectations of revenue growth for the June quarter pushed up export-focused outsourcing firms.

Bombay Stock ExchangeAll stocks in the IT index, except Mphasis, closed in positive territory, with Rolta India leading the list of gainers with a jump of 4.1 percent.

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