Experts advised RBI not to hike rates to fight price rise

In its second quarter mid-quarter review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal held last month, the RBI indicated that it may not increase the key policy rates in December

Mumbai: Almost all external experts on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy advisory committee were opposed to increase in policy rates to combat inflation amid concerns that tight policy had proved ineffective in moderating price rise, reports PTI.

“On monetary measures, while one external member suggested an increase in repo rate by 25 basis points, other five external members were of the view that repo rate should not be changed,” said minutes of October 19 meeting of RBI's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Monetary Policy.

Six days later, the central bank increased the repo rate by 25 basis points in its bid to tame inflation. It was the 13th increase since March 2010.

While all members of the committee chaired by RBI governor D Subbarao observed that inflation was a major concern, they said it would not ease immediately.

“... some other members felt that inflation was driven by external/supply side factors and, therefore, the monetary policy tightening was impacting investment and growth and not inflation,” the minutes said.

Besides top RBI officials, the TAC comprises external members, including Hangar Acharya, Rakesh Mohan and Errol D’Souza.

The members, however, hoped in view of slowing global economy, international commodity prices would soften gradually and help in moderate inflation.

Some others, while suggesting a pause in hike in further hike in interest rates, felt that the message of the Reserve Bank’s policy should be hawkish.

In its second quarter mid-quarter review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal, the RBI indicated that it may not increase the key policy rates in December.

Amidst global developments, the TAC members also observed the economic growth in the country was moderating.

In particular, investment activity was slowing down due to tight monetary policy and other factors, including global uncertainty and delay in clearing the projects, they felt.

RBI has lowered its gross domestic product (GDP) projection for the current fiscal to 7.6% from 8%.

A concern was also expressed during the TAC meet on the service sector, which was showing signs of moderation. Some members felt that exports growth will slow down, going forward, as a result of which trade deficit may widen, the central bank said.

The minutes further said that some members raised concerns over the high fiscal deficit and the risk of it slipping in the current financial year.


Small bounce back possible: Thursday Closing Report

If the Nifty manages to hold above today’s low we may see a small bounce back

Worries about the slowdown in the domestic economy and the spiralling European debt situation brought the market down for the sixth day today. Today’s fall in the Sensex (1.87%) and Nifty (1.90%) has been the maximum since 22nd September 2011. Both the indices closed on a 26-day closing low (including today). Since July 1990, the Nifty has witnessed a six day fall on 86 occasions (including the current one). Of the past 85 times, the index has been in the positive on the 7th trading day 45 times and 40 times in the negative. The Nifty has broken its second support of 4,980 today. In case the index manages to hold above today’s low, we may see a small bounce back. However, the chance of fresh selling remains high. The volume on the National Stock Exchange was 63.78 crore shares.

The market opened marginally lower this morning on concerns about the slowdown in the domestic economy and the European situation. The Nifty opened at 5,027, down three points from its previous close, and the Sensex lost 21 points to resume trade at 16,755. Oil & gas and power sectors were the worst hit in early trade.

Select buying, which began after 10am, pushed the indices into the green to the day’s high an hour later. At the highs, the Nifty rose to 5,037 and the Sensex touched 16,807. However, profit booking by institutional investors resulted in the market trading in the red.

Volatility continued with the indices plunging further southwards in the post-noon session as the key European markets extended their falls after yields of Spanish and French 10-year bonds hit their euro-era highs. The market touched the day’s low towards the close of the session with the Nifty slipping below the 5,000 mark to 4,919 and the Sensex tumbling to 16,755. At the close, the Nifty declined 96 points to 4,935 and the Sensex plunged 313 points to 16,463.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 429:1,249.

The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today as the BSE Mid-cap index settled 1.30% down and BSE Small-cap index was 1.15% lower.

The sectoral space was a sea of red today. BSE Oil & Gas (down 3.39%); BSE Power (down 2.86%); BSE Metal (down 2.48%); BSE Realty (down 2.40%) and BSE Capital Goods (down 2.19%) were the top losers.

Hero MotoCorp (up 0.71%); Cipla (up 0.42%) and Sun Pharma (up 0.25%) were the only gainers among the 30-share Sensex list. The losers were led by Jaiprakash Associates (down 6.49%); Reliance Industries (down 4.51%); Maruti Suzuki (down 4.44%); BHEL (down 4.37%) and Sterlite Industries (down 4.02%).

The top Nifty gainers were Reliance Infrastructure (up 1.14%); Hero MotoCorp (up 0.94%); Sun Pharma (up 0.73%); Cipla (up 0.18%) and TCS (up 0.07%). The major losers on the index were JP Associates (down 6.43%); Ranbaxy (down 5.29%); Sesa Goa (down 4.90%); RIL (down 4.85%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 4.68%).

Markets in Asia settled mostly lower on fresh concerns on the deepening debt crisis in Europe and Chinese policymakers’ affirmation to continue with inflation-tightening steps in view of higher prices.

The Shanghai Composite fell 0.16%; the Hang Seng declined 0.76%; the Jakarta Composite slipped .57%; the KLSE Composite lost 0.77% and the Straits Times tanked 1.04%. On the other hand, Nikkei 225 added 0.19%; the Seoul Composite gained 1.11% while the Taiwan Weighted settled unchanged.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities totalling Rs488.89 crore on Wednesday. Conversely, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks amounting to Rs277.79 crore.

Bajaj Auto has launched its new Boxer 150 motorcycle, with an engine capacity of 150cc, in the Egyptian market. The Boxer 150 is equipped with ExhausTec technology, which is environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient, the company said in a statement. The stock shed 0.04% to settle at Rs1,725 on the NSE.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) arm Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) and US-based Telephonics Corporation, on Thursday signed a joint-venture to manufacture radars and surveillance and communication systems for the Indian defence forces.

The JV intends to provide systems for air traffic management services, homeland security and other emerging surveillance requirements of the defence forces as also for the civilian applications.  M&M declined 2.06% to Rs759.25 on the NSE.

Wipro Technologies today said that it has implemented aircraft parts and material management system for All Nippon Airways to strengthen regulatory compliance and optimise its inventory stock. The company did not disclose the financial details. Wipro lost 1.54% to close trade at Rs368.40 on the NSE.


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