Unstructured Finance

Goldman, Moody’s bring some cheer; can the govt build on it?

A battered government has some good news to cheer this week. First, rating agency Moody’s kept the country’s rating outlook at stable, providing a breather after two other global firms downgraded it to negative.

Goldman Sachs on Thursday upgraded Indian equities to ‘overweight’ from ‘market-weight’. The Wall Street investment bank has cited a recovery in growth and inflation moderation going ahead as reasons for its upgrade. It has set an end-2013 end target for the Nifty at 6,600 points, a 14 percent upside from current levels.

And there’s some more good news. Goldman said that economic growth is likely to accelerate to 6.5 percent in 2013 backed by favourable external sector demand outlook and a pick-up in domestic reforms.

All this is boosting sentiment on the street. The Sensex crossed 19,000 in trade on Thursday.

Goldman’s India upgrade comes a bit late in the day, as UBS, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan have already raised their India equity targets in recent months. But Standard & Poor’s and Fitch still have a negative outlook on India.

No solution in sight for bipolar Indian stocks

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

As the end of 2012 approaches, investors will likely remember this as a bipolar year for Indian markets.

A look at the Sensex chart for the year captures perfectly the swings in investors’ mood: from an exuberant January all the way to the despair of June to radiant optimism in September.

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.

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

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.

The stock has generated reasonable returns, gaining 7.3 percent in 2010 and 9 percent since July.

Wipro ends lower after results

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.

The stock is not far away from its highest level in a decade — 451.80 rupees, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

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.

Biggies Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys rose 2.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively, helping the Sensex in its 173-points rise.

Sensex H1 performance

India’s benchmark stock index did reasonably well in the first half of 2010 as compared to its emerging market peers. The Sensex gained 1.4 percent during the period, and outperformed China’s Shanghai Composite Index and Brazil’s Bovespa which declined 9.6 percent and 26.8 percent respectively.

Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s top listed firm which has the heaviest weight in the index, barely changed during the period, but a Supreme Court ruling on a gas dispute and Ambani brothers reconciliation kept the company in focus.

Banking stocks performed well during the period, with the sectoral Bankex posting gains of more than 7 percent. Shares in SBI, India’s largest lender rose marginally, but private lender HDFC Bank jumped 12.6 percent during the period.

ITC shares jump 2.6 pct

Bombay Stock ExchangeShares in cigarette-to-hotel business chain ITC rose 2.6 percent on Wednesday to top the list of Sensex gainers on better earnings expectations.

The stock, which closed at 304.75 rupees, was among the big gainers on the BSE FMCG Index which topped the sectoral list with a rise of 1.9 percent.

HSBC Securities said in a note on Tuesday that the June-quarter results could be a catalyst for the stock, since it could result in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin expansion for the cigarettes business, as price increases taken are higher than necessary to offset tax increases.