Nifty has to stay above 7,600 for the rally to continue
We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might drift higher subject to dips and that Nifty has to stay above 7,550 for the index to continue to rise. Following favourable global cues, the major indices in the Indian stock markets rallied and closed more than 1.3% higher than Friday’s close. The trends of the major indices in Monday’s trading are given in the table below:
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday defended the government's decision to slash interest rates on PPF and national small savings, saying this will help transform the economy from a "sluggish" state to an "efficient" one. "Now the interest rates have come down and the direction in which the country's economy is moving these days, we cannot have a situation where banks’ lending rates go down and the deposit rates are high. Both are inter-linked," Jaitley told reporters. "The country has to move towards lower interest rates in both areas. Similarly the interest on government securities has also come down in the last few months." The minister, who has come under attack for slashing interest rates, said earlier changes in interest rate used to be announced annually.Henceforth, as the interest rates fluctuate, it will be announced every quarter.
Demand for policy rate cut may be considerable, but given the central bank's inflation target, rate cut space is scant, and the Reserve Bank is likely to cut only 25 bps in the upcoming monetary policy, a Deutsche Bank report says. According to the global financial services major, with RBI sticking to its goal of maintaining 1.5%-2% average real interest rate, which along with an average CPI (consumer price index) inflation forecast of 5% for 2016-17 leaves little room for bringing the repo rate below 6.50%. "If RBI somehow cuts rates by 50 bps on April 5, which is not our base case scenario, probably the central bank will also signal an extended pause, and risks are that market will factor in that the rate cut cycle is over," Deutsche Bank said in a research note.
Meanwhile, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on February 2 left the key interest rate unchanged, citing inflation risks amid growth concerns. The report further noted that "while we think RBI will cut only 25 bps in the upcoming monetary policy, we however do not completely rule out the possibility of further rate cuts in the second half of this year". Moreover, if growth may continue to surprise on the downside and inflation stays at the 5% level, the central bank may entertain a slightly lower real interest rate, which in turn "might open up room for a further 25-50 bps rate cut", it explained.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has granted approval to Japan's Nippon Life Insurance to increase its stake in Anil Ambani-led Reliance Life Insurance (RLI) to 49%, which will peg the valuation of the Indian company at $1.5 billion. Nippon Life will be investing an aggregate value of Rs.2,265 crore ($348 million) to acquire an additional 23% stake in Reliance Life to reach a 49% stake, a statement by the companies said. "In line with the new shareholding structure, the name of the company will also be changed to Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company, post increase in stake," the statement added. "The transaction pegs Reliance Life Insurance's valuation at approximately Rs.10,000 crore ($1.5 billion), amongst the highest valuation for any Life Insurance company in the country." Once the transaction goes through, Nippon Life would have invested a total of Rs.8,630 crore ($1.3 billion) for acquiring 49% each in Reliance Life Insurance and Reliance Capital Asset Management. Reliance Capital closed at Rs373.90, up 1.89% on the BSE. The stock exchanges will remain shut on Thursday and Friday on account of Holi and Good Friday, respectively.
The top gainers and top losers of the major Indian indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below: