Concerns about the pace of the economic recovery roiled markets worldwide
The Indian market is likely to see a cautious opening as concerns about the economic recovery spooked markets worldwide. Markets in the US closed lower for the third straight day on Wednesday on concerns about the pace of the economic recovery and falling commodity prices along with weak sentiments from the US led to a lower opening for the Asian markets on Thursday. The SGX Nifty was down 32 points at 5,504 compared to its previous close of 5,536.
The Sensex and Nifty opened with small positive gains on Wednesday but quickly slipped into the red to hit their intra-day lows of 18,340 and 5,503, respectively. However, in the post-noon period, the indices inched to intra-day highs at 18,604 and 5,579. But the gains were short-lived and the market slipped into the red in the last hour. The Sensex declined 65 points to close at 18,469 and the Nifty fell 28 points to close at 5,537.
On 24 March 2011, the Nifty had closed at 5,522, from where it took nine trading days to hit an intra-day high of 5,944 on 6 April 2011 and closed at 5,892. The total gains of 369 points of the nine trading sessions have been wiped off to the extent of a 355 point drop in the subsequent 17 trading sessions (including yesterday’s fall of 28 points on the Nifty).
If the lows hold, the market can rally up to 5,650 on short-covering, before the decline resumes. The chances of a rally on Thursday are bright, given historical evidence. Since 1990, the market has been negative for eight consecutive days on 16 occasions (excluding the current fall). Out these 16 times, it has turned positive on the ninth trading day on 11 occasions, while on the other five it remained negative.
Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday on dour economic data. The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) index of non-manufacturing companies declined to 52.8 in April from 57.3 in March, lower than analysts’ forecast for a gain to 57.5. The ADP Employer Services reported that employment at US companies increased by lower-than-expected 179,000 in April. Besides, A gauge of new orders dropped by the most since record-keeping began in 1997.
In the earnings space, Las Vegas Sands plunged 7.3% after missing analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates and Kellogg fell 1.7% after the food manufacturer’s first-quarter earnings fell more than expected.
The Dow declined 83.93 points (0.66%) to 12,723.58. The S&P 500 shed 9.30 points (0.69%) to 1,347.32 and the Nasdaq fell by 13.39 points (0.47%) to 2,828.23.
Markets in Asia were lower in early trade on Thursday on concerns about rising prices that cast a shadow on the economic recovery in the region. Investors will keep an eye on the European Central Bank, which is expected to its decision on interest rates.
The Shanghai Composite declined 0.43%, the Hang Seng fell by 0.38%, the Jakarta Composite was down 0.52%, the KSLE Composite retraced 0.24% and the Straits Times shed 0.10%. Bucking the trend, the Taiwan Weighted gained 0.44%. Markets in South Korea and Japan are closed for a public holiday.
Back home, the civil aviation ministry on Wednesday held talks with the agitating Air India pilots to find a way to end the eight-day deadlock soon.
Sources said a two-member team of the ministry, headed by joint secretary Prashant Shukul, has been set up to have talks with the pilots, who are understood to have objected to hold parleys with Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav. The agitators had responded positively to some “feelers” sent by the ministry and the management since Tuesday night, they said.
On an average, since 2009, the proportion of people who are changing jobs cautiously has increased up to 50%, compared to the pre-slowdown period, GlobalHunt director Sunil Goel said
Mumbai: Job-hopping tendencies in the country have declined post the global economic slowdown, in light of huge lay-offs where employees who switched jobs frequently paid the price, reports PTI quoting an executive search firm.
“Now most people do not want to change jobs for the sake of changing, unlike in the past. This is because people who were changing their jobs every 6-9 months were the first to be laid off during the slowdown,” GlobalHunt director Sunil Goel told PTI.
On an average, since 2009, the proportion of people who are changing jobs cautiously has increased up to 50%, compared to the pre-slowdown period, he said.
“This trend is visible across sectors especially in mid and junior levels,” he said.
During the slowdown, Mr Goel said, even as the lay-off rate in India was not that high compared to other nations, sectors like banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, hospitality and IT (to some extent) were the most affected.
On an average, the lay-off rate across sectors during the slowdown was 10%-15%, he said.
“Job-hoppers paid the price of instability. Learning from that, people want to stick to their organisations as long as they can,” Mr Goel said.
Before the slowdown, the job market was buoyant and there were plenty of jobs available in every sector, he said, adding, “There was a war for talent and sectors like IT, telecom, BPO and BFSI saw a high percentage of people changing jobs.”
In terms of advantages, job-hopping also did not prove to be as lucrative as people are generally unable to generate incentives for first two quarters and also lose out on long term-benefits in their previous organisations, Mr Goel opined.
“On actual terms, they are not losing percentage of salary hike by sticking to an organisation for long. And if we calculate the quantifiable net gain, they do not lose anything by being loyal to their organisations,” he said.
Sticking to an organisation, he said, proved as a win-win situation for both an employer and an employee as a new association is usually a painful phase for both sides.
“New people are not able to contribute to the best of their capabilities and from an organisation’s perspective, a company ends up in paying for the hiring cost as well as on induction, technology and development and to integrate a new person into its system,” he said.
Employers’ reaction is, therefore, positive as they hold and retain people and in return, usually, employees do not lose out on the benefits, he added.
Apart from gold funds, foreign funds—especially those that invest in Brazil—seem to have become the flavour of the season
DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund has filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch three global funds—DSP BlackRock Latin American Fund, DSP BlackRock World Agriculture Fund and DSP BlackRock New Energy Fund. All three are open-ended fund of funds (FoF) schemes investing in international BlackRock funds.
Global funds offer diversification benefits, by investing in stocks (bio-tech, technology, energy, agriculture and mining etc.) which an Indian investor may not be able to buy by just investing in domestic schemes. However, funds that put your money in other countries don’t necessarily offer another round of diversification. In fact, markets in countries around the world have been moving in sync. In April 2009-March 2010 the Sensex was up 77% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up 74%. Non-correlated market movement is not easy to find. This is because an enormous pool of global capital is sloshing around the world looking for a slightly higher return. As with other kinds of products, foreign funds are not about returns alone. There are risks too. You are exposed to all kinds of risks unique to different countries, plagued with their own set of issues.
In 2007, as many as eight funds were launched that planned to invest overseas. These eight funds, on an average, have given returns as low as 0.1%. These include ICICI Prudential Indo Asia Equity Fund-Ret with 2.6% return; Birla Sun Life International Equity Fund-Plan A (-0.7% return); Birla Sun Life International Equity Fund-Plan B (-1.6% return); Kotak Global Emerging Market Fund (0.4% return), Fidelity International Opportunities Fund (8.7% return); Tata Indo-Global Infrastructure Fund (-7.5% return) and BNP Paribas China-India fund with -3.4% return.
DSP BlackRock Latin American Fund plans to invest in units of BlackRock Global Funds Latin American Fund (BGF-LAF). It has given a return of 14.61% over the last 5 years and 15.27% since inception (3 January 1995). This fund is in turn benchmarked to an index known as DAX Global Agribusiness which has given a return of 13.37% in the last 5 years and 13.31% since inception while the Sensex and Nifty have returned 11% (CAGR, Compounded Annual Growth Rate) over the past 5 years. And the Sensex and Nifty have returned 10% (CAGR) since January 1995.
DSP BlackRock World Agriculture Fund plans to invest in units of BlackRock Global Funds World Agriculture Fund (BGF WAF). It has given a return of 20.29% since inception. This fund is benchmarked to an index known as DAX Global Agribusiness, which has given a return of 21.14% since inception.
DSP BlackRock New Energy Fund plans to invest in units of BlackRock Global Funds New Energy Fund (BGF-NEF). It has given a return of -4.32% in last 5 years and -5.76% since inception. This fund is benchmarked to an index known as MSCI World Net Index which has given a return of -0.03% over the last 5 years and 3.75% since inception. As you can see, the performance of BlackRock New Energy Fund is not very exciting, to say the least.
Another issue is that it is hard to find the details of where exactly your money is being invested. Even Moneylife could not find sufficient data to analyse these international funds. We could only get the details of BlackRock Latin America fund. The top five holdings of BlackRock Latin America Inv A are Vale S.A. ADR, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ADR, Itau Unibanco Holding SA ADR, Bank Bradesco ADR (all from Brazil) and America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. ADR L of Mexico.