Investors are hopeful that positive earnings from corporates this week will boost the market
The Indian stock market is likely to open lower on weak global cues. Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Monday on concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery. The US markets closed higher on Friday as a late recovery boosted stocks. However, the impasse among political leaders to hike the debt ceiling is seen as a serious concern. The SGX Nifty was 30 points down at 5,561.50 compared to its previous close of 5,591.50.
The market ended in the red last week after three weeks of gains. The decline was mainly due to global factors and lower expectations on first quarter results. Lower industrial output for May weighed down by the manufacturing and mining sectors was also contributed to the decline.
The market closed lower for the first two days on weak global sentiments. Institutional buying support and firm Asian markets helped the indices close in the positive on Wednesday. Poor inflation numbers led to a flat close on Thursday. While the market opened in the green on Friday, it lost direction and ended lower, as investors were concerned that rising inflation will prompt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hike rates at its review meeting at the end of the month.
Overall, the Sensex fell 2% (down 296 points) to close the week at 18,561 and the Nifty shed 1% (down 56 points) to 5,581. We expect the market to move sideways in the days to come until the Nifty reaches 5,520.
Wall Street closed modestly higher on Friday as the indices made a late hour recovery to end the session in the positive. Europe's financial health and US manufacturing data weighed down stock prices for much of the day. However, strong earnings announcement from the Google Inc helped the markets to move higher in late trade. Also the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index fell 0.2% in June.
The Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index fell 0.2% in June, falling for the first time in a year on account of a steep drop in gas costs. Americans paid more for autos, clothes and hotel stays however, driving prices outside of volatile food and energy costs were up.
The Dow gained 42.61 points (0.34%) to 12,479.73. The S&P 500 added 7.27 points (0.56%) to 1,316.14 and the Nasdaq climbed 27.13 points (0.98%) to 2,789.80.
Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Monday as debt worries on both sides of the Atlantic weighed on investors. Despite positive results from the stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority, a sovereign debt default by any Eurozone member could have negative implications. Also, the tardy progress on debt negotiations the US would mean that the world’s largest economy is under threat of a debt default.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.04%, the Hang Seng climbed 0.58%, the Jakarta Composite rose 0.21%, the Straits Times advanced 0.17% and the Taiwan Weighted added 0.04%. On the other hand, the KLSE Composite was down 0.55% and the Seoul Composite declined 0.58%. The Nikkei 225 was closed for a local holiday.
Back home, fiscal measures to rein in inflation could impede the country’s infrastructure development due to squeezed investment for want of sufficient credit access, says top industrialist Ratan Tata.
Mr Tata said that the slowdown in infrastructure projects might have a major impact on job creation and the demand for goods and services, resulting in a substantially lower level of economic activity. India is aiming to spend $1 trillion in the next Plan period.
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The Gandhian, who is leading the civil society movement for a strong legislation against corruption, announces protests to resume on 11th August
Reiterating like a chorus between a popular song, "Sarkarki niyat acchi nahin" (government's intention is not good), an electrified audience of nearly 4,000 people, most of them youngsters, cheered Anna Hazare with repeated applause at the 4th Prakash Kardaley Memorial lecture, organised at the Balgandharva Rang Mandir in Pune on Friday.
Pune scripted a historic chapter in the spirit of citizens' involvement in Anna's movement and there was a record crowd at the prestigious public auditorium.
Dr Kiran Bedi, the main speaker on the occasion, delivered an address on the subject, 'Is the government afraid of a people's movement?'. She informed the gathering about the aspects of the draft Lokpal Bill of the government as compared with the formidable Jan Lokpal Bill scripted by the civil society members. Her crisp and incisive Power Point presentation provided bullet-to-bullet comparisons. (Log on to www.indiaagainstcorruption.org or www.kiranbedi.org for details of the presentation.)
Ms Bedi said, "We already have two bodies-the Supreme Court and the Election Commission which is out of the reins of the government because of which they have been performing effectively. Through the Jan Lokpal Bill, we are only saying that make the systems independent and not dependent. However, in order to protect the corrupt in the legislature and bureaucracy, the government wants to hold the reins of the Lokpal Bill."
Describing the background in which the bill was prepared, Ms Bedi said, "India signed the UN declaration against corruption after five years of deliberating on it and do you know the only country who has not signed it yet? It is Somalia!"
She said, "The Jan Lokpal Bill is the only bill drafted through public consultations and interaction. It is for the benefit of the aam aadmi while the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government is a 'dead' one as Anna has pointed out."
Anna Hazare said that the Jan Lokpal Bill would be the only effective legislation against corruption which has denied the common man his right to a dignified life. "I go around the country spreading the message of a strong Lokpal Bill because I have faith in it. Every investigative agency in the country is under the government which scuttles every investigation and lets the corrupt go scot-free. Thanks to the media which has played an important role in exposing the magnitude of corruption in the country, citizens are informed. For the first time ever, television cameras focused on our agitation at Jantar Mantar for a full 100 hours and this led to instant, nationwide support."
Urging the youngsters to keep up the momentum, Mr Hazare said, "Anywhere in the world, the power of the youth is supreme. Revolutions have always been fought by youngsters. We won our independence in 1947, but that was not real freedom. In the lust for power and money, our netas have forgotten the sacrifices made by Bhagat Singh and other great freedom-fighters for our freedom."
Describing late Prakash Kardaley as his guru, Mr Hazare said, "The seed of the RTI revolution was sowed in 1995. We campaigned for 10 years to get the Act implemented, which came only after I agitated. Kardaley used to burn the midnight oil, drafting letters to the government and guiding us on how to go about making a strong RTI Act."
Ms Bedi also said that "if there were more crusading editors like Kardaley, a strong Lokpal Bill would have been implemented faster through large-scale dissemination of information."
Mr Hazare asked youngsters to shine in their personal and professional lives, but not to forget the service to the nation. He announced the resumption of protests on 11th August and suggested: "From 11th August, carry the national flag on your shoulders and take out prabhat pheras (morning marches) at 6.30am, and in the evening conduct candle-light processions. This would help to build a strong mass movement towards implementation of a strong Lokpal Bill to eradicate corruption."
Ms Bedi urged the people to spread the word about the features of the Jan Lokpal Bill through facebook, twitter and on web sites.
That Anna has become an icon for youngsters was evident as the youngsters waited patiently for him to emerge from an interaction with the media and then cheered him loudly with slogans of 'Vande Mataram' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.
(Vinita Deshmukh is a senior editor, author and convener of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She can be reached at [email protected].)