Nifty may see the level of 4,400
The gloomy outlook of the domestic economy as portrayed by private analysts and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its mid-quarter monetary policy review, was seen as the main reason for the market ending 4% lower for the week and down for the second week in succession.
The 5.1% contraction in industrial output for October saw the market falling sharply on Monday. Short covering towards the end of trade helped the indices close higher on Tuesday recouping nearly half the losses accrued the previous day. Ignoring the decline in headline inflation for November, the choppy market settled lower on bleak global cues on Wednesday.
Nervousness ahead of the RBI quarterly policy review induced a high degree of volatility in the market, but a recovery in the second half of trade ensured a flat close on Thursday. A dim outlook for the economy outlined by RBI in its policy review resulted in the market closing at its lowest in two years on Friday.
The Sensex tumbled 722 points to close the week at 15,491 and the Nifty declined 215 points to settle at 4,652. The market is likely to see a further downtrend with the Nifty touching 4,400.
All sectoral indices settled lower with the BSE Capital Goods index (down 10%) and BSE Consumer Durables index (down 8%) as the top losers.
Cipla and Hindustan Unilever (up 2% each) were the only gainers on the Sensex this week. The losers were led by Larsen & Toubro, Sterlite Industries (down 12% each), State Bank of India (down 10%), DLF and BHEL (down 9% each).
The top performers on the Nifty were Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla, HUL (up 2% each), HCL Technologies and Infosys (up 1% each). The major losers on the index were L&T (down 13%), Reliance Communications, Sterlite Ind, Reliance Power (down 12% each) and Punjab National Bank (down 11%).
After 13 increases in key interest rates in the last 20 months, the RBI, this time kept the repo and reverse repo rates unchanged at 8.5% and 7.5%, respectively. The central bank also decided to retain the cash reserve ratio at 6%. The industry was expecting a minor cut in CRR to induce liquidity in the system and promote investments. The pause in rate hikes comes at a time when inflation has started showing signs of moderation.
In a double whammy, negative industrial output and sliding rupee against the dollar have added to the woes of already slowing Indian economy with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee saying that it would be a challenge to maintain the fiscal deficit at 4.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Industrial output registered a negative growth of 5.1% in October, lowest in over two years, mainly due to rising interest rate, high prices and global uncertainties. The decline in industrial production has mainly been on account of poor performance of the manufacturing and mining sectors, resulting from the twin impact of high interest rate and global slowdown.
Moderating prices of essential food items like onions, potatoes and milk pulled down the headline inflation marginally to 9.11% in November, from 9.73% in October and 8.2% in November 2010. However, the figure has stubbornly remained above the 9% mark since December 2010.
Also, food inflation for the week ended 3rd December fell to a nearly four-year low of 4.35%. The latest weekly food inflation number is the lowest since the week ended 23 February 2008, when it was 4.28%. Expressing hope, chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu said food inflation may go down below 3% in a month’s time.
On the global front, Italy’s prime minister on Friday cautioned European policymakers of dividing the continent in an attempt to resolve the debt crisis. After the European markets closed for the week, Fitch said it may downgrade France, Italy, and five other Eurozone countries, on account of a lack of a “comprehensive solution” to the region's debt crisis. Last week, S&P warned that it would downgrade the ratings of many Eurozone sovereigns, including France and Germany.
Meanwhile, key Senate leaders in the US reached a tentative agreement late Friday on a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut for almost every American worker, while the House passed the $1 trillion spending bill which averted a government shutdown that otherwise would have begun Friday at midnight. The Senate is expected to pass the bill on Saturday, keeping the government funded till the end of the fiscal year that ends on 30th September.
S&P Nifty close: 4651.60
Short Term Down Medium Term Down Long Term Down
The Nifty opened flat this week and drifted lower thereafter to hit an intraday low on the 15th from where a smart bounce which was, however, short-lived took place. The resultant sharp decline on the last day of the week saw the Nifty close 215 points (-4.42%) in the red. All the sectoral Indices closed in the negative with the major underperformers being BSE Capital Goods (-12.62%), BSE Realty (-9.42%), BSE Consumer Durables (-8.24%), BSE Bankex (-8.24%) and BSE Auto (-7.02%) and the significant outperformers were BSE IT (-1.20%), BSE Healthcare (-1.86%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (-1.91%).
The weekly histogram MACD remains below the median line confirming that the bears are in control. Last week’s decline was on higher volumes implying that the bulls will require a lot of efforts in the next couple of sessions to pull things back. If we hold the 4,550-4,580 area in this dip then another bout of short-covering is likely to take place.
Here are some key levels to watch out for this week
The bulls tried to make a come back on the 15th but were halted in their tracks on the last day of the week which resulted in a sharp fall.
1. Resistance in rallies is pegged at 4,992, 5,014 and 5,104 points (38.2%, 50% and 61.8% retracement levels of the fall from 5,399-4,628 points.
2. The volumes in last week’s decline have more implying that the bears are still strong and rallies if any will be of corrective nature only.
3. If the Nifty holds the 4,550-4,580 points range in this decline expect another corrective rise till around the latter half of this week.
The bulls did make a small comeback as suspected on the 15th but could not hold on to the gains in the next session. We saw some panic selling on the last day of the week which has raised doubts as to whether a corrective rise can begin from around these levels. If we don’t fall much from here one can expect a small corrective bounce which could peter out during the coming weekend. However, there is no change in the overall trend which continues to be down. It’s likely to be a roller coaster market in the weeks ahead with opportunities provided for both way traders.
(Vidur Pendharkar works as a consultant technical analyst & chief strategist, www.trend4casting.com)
Milaap, a micro-lending platform, believes that a little help goes a long way, Shukti Sarma reports
After working in Singapore, Anoj Viswanathan joined SKS Microfinance, working on energy and water services in rural India. The impact of a $10 solar lantern, sold on credit to poor tribal villagers, triggered the idea of starting a micro-lending platform. His friends Sourabh Sharma and Mayukh Choudhury were also working on similar projects. Together, they founded Milaap in June 2010 and registered it as a society.
“Anoj realised that the impact of products like solar lamps remained limited because loans were not available at low interest. Donations lead to dependence; when you give someone a loan, you’re encouraging them to stand on their feet,” says Tanvi Mehta, the chief evangelist for Milaap.
Through Milaap, anyone can make small loans to registered borrowers. The amount can be as little as Rs1,000. When the loan is repaid with interest, the lender can choose to re-lend the same amount to another borrower. “Loans usually fund two causes: providing essential needs for families like clean water and sanitation; and for income-generation opportunities—like giving vocational training to youngsters, or enabling farmers and artisans to invest in equipment and raw materials and providing them with a guaranteed buyer,” says
On Milaap’s website, one can select a borrower and make a loan through PayPal. Repayment occurs over an extended period. Milaap collaborates with other organisations and field partners who are in touch with the borrowers. “Borrowers approach field partners who appraise and verify the authenticity of their credit needs and recommend borrowers to us,” Ms Mehta says.
The biggest challenge for the founders was getting Reserve Bank of India’s approval for foreign funding of loans. After much persuasion, permission was finally granted in August 2011. As of November 2011, Milaap has raised $160,000 for 600 borrowers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra with 100% repayment rate. It has helped many; like Vasim, who had benefited through an educational loan. Last year, he was unemployed, untrained and directionless. In April 2011, he decided to join a vocational training programme. Through Milaap, he could organise the entire amount required. Today, he has a stable and secure job at the retail chain More.
Milaap disburses loans bearing in mind borrowers’ repayment capacity and the regularity of their cash-flows. For example, students availing of education loans are given time to find a job before the repayment cycle begins. Generally, they are allowed four months to find employment. Loans are disbursed using vouchers for buying products or hiring services from assured vendors. Vendors receive payments from field partners on presentation of vouchers. Borrowers are encouraged to save and focus on improving their living conditions. Several households across the country now have solar lighting or toilets installed through Milaap’s loans.
The microfinance crisis in India has not affected Milaap’s work as yet. But micro-lending is a comparatively new concept that requires awareness creation. One can help Milaap by providing technical support, or advocacy through social media and raise funds, or any other means. “We had a couple who asked their friends to lend money through Milaap instead of bringing them gifts for their wedding. That is amazing,” Ms Mehta says.
Milaap’s funding has so far come from some private investors, apart from the small commissions they charge their field partners. Milaap plans to raise at least $1 million in the next 12 months. “We’re hoping to scale up to 10 field partners and fund at least 1,000 loans,” Ms Mehta said. They are planning to have an Indian payment portal on their website too. While loans to borrowers are not tax-exempt, donations to Milaap are exempt under Section 80 (G) of Income Tax Act.
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