Stocks
Nifty, Sensex may head higher subject to dips – Monday closing report
Nifty has to stay above 7,500 for the rally to continue
 
In anticipation of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review, the major indices ended flat on Monday and closed with marginal losses. The Bank Nifty closed with a loss of 1.34% over Friday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Monday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
With the RBI's last monetary policy review of this fiscal coming up on Tuesday, analysts expect the central bank to keep interest rates unchanged as inflation trends upwards. "Considering the near-term risks on CPI (consumer price index) inflation and the uncertainties around FY17 Budget, we expect the RBI to leave rates unchanged until the budget on February 29," Citigroup said in a note. It said the Reserve Bank of India was likely go for a post-budget easing of 0.25% in March or April 2016. India's CPI, or retail, inflation has been rising. As per data, released earlier this month, annual retail inflation moved up further to 5.61% in December, from 5.41% during the month before. The consumer price index numbers also showed that food inflation rose to 6.4% as against 6.07% in the month before. In rural and urban areas, the annual inflation rates for food items were 6.41% and 6.31% respectively. With food items, notably pulses and onions, continuing to remain dear, India's annual wholesale inflation rate moved up for the fourth straight month to minus 0.73% for December, against minus 1.99% for the month before. "The RBI meets on February 2 and we expect the benchmark rates to be kept on hold," a DBS report said. The bank last cut its short term lending rate in September by 50 basis points to 6.75%. In 2015, RBI reduced its repo rate cumulatively by 1.25%. "The current instability in markets and insufficient transmission are further reasons why the RBI may not rush to cut the rate on February 2," HSBC said in a report. The RBI review is expected to direct the Indian equity markets in the upcoming week. 
 
India's second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India Ltd. on Monday said its total sales last month, including exports, went down marginally by 1.2%. In a statement here, the company said it sold 44,230 units (domestic 38,016 units, exports 6,214 units) last month -- down from 44,783 units (domestic 34,780 units, exports 10,003 units) sold during January 2015. "Hyundai started the year with a positive note registering the domestic volume of 38,016 units with a growth of 9.3% over last year," Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president -- sales and marketing, was quoted as saying in the statement.
 
Sales of two-wheeler maker Eicher Motors, which will unveil a new bike on Tuesday, zoomed 65% last month year-on-year, the company announced. In a statement on Monday, the company said it sold 47,710 units last month (domestic 47,140 units, exports 570 units) as against 28,927 units (domestic 28,157 units, exports 770 units) sold during January 2015. Eicher Motors' Royal Enfield division rolls out heavy two-wheelers. The company will unveil in New Delhi on Tuesday a new motorcycle, Himalayan, powered by an all new LS410 engine. Eicher Motors shares closed at Rs17,138.00, up 3.57% on the BSE.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has laid the foundation stone for a new 800 MW power project to be set up near Chennai. In a statement issued here, the government said Jayalalithaa laid the foundation stone for the Rs6,376 crore project on January 29. She also handed over Rs2,759 crore order to power equipment giant Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) to supply boiler, turbine, generator and also towards engineering, procurement and construction of the proposed power plant. The proposed power project will come up within the existing complex of the North Chennai Thermal Power Project where two power units are already functional. Bhel shares closed at Rs140.45, up 1.15% on the BSE.
 
Grasim Industries Ltd on Saturday said its standalone net profit for 2015-16's third quarter grew by 177.93% at Rs260.37 crore against Rs.93.68 crore posted in the same period of 2014-15. According to the unaudited standalone financial results posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Grasim earned a total income of Rs2,343.38 crore in the quarter under review against Rs1,560.11 crore, while total expenses grew to Rs2,006.11 crore from Rs1,441.90 crore in Q3 2014-15. On a consolidated basis, Grasim posted a net profit of Rs649.59 crore compared to Rs333.61 crore realised in the similar quarter of 2014-15. Consolidated total income of the company rose to Rs9,043.67 crore from Rs8,034.61 crore in the year ago quarter while total expenses increased to Rs7,811 crore from Rs7,215.21 crore. Grasim Industries closed at Rs3,436.90, up 1.41% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Excise hike negates petrol, diesel price cuts
New Delhi : While state-run oil firms have revised the price of transport fuels from Monday in their fornightly price revision, Indian consumers have been deprived of the latest benefit of falling global crude oil prices owing to hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel on Saturday.
 
Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) announced that petrol per litre from Monday will cost Rs.59.95 in Delhi, Rs.64.84 in Kolkata, Rs.66.05 in Mumbai and Rs.59.42 in Chennai.
 
Petrol in Delhi goes up by 92 paise per litre. Had the excise duty not been implemented, the price would have actually fallen. 
 
Although in three other metro cities, the prices have been revised marginally, around 3 or 4 paise a litre, these too would have seen a drop if the government had not mopped up a rupee per litre on petrol and Rs.1.50 on diesel. 
 
Similarly, the price of diesel per litre is now Rs.44.68 in Delhi, Rs.48.04 in Kolkata, Rs.51.22 in Mumbai and Rs.45.33 in Chennai. 
 
Petrol per litre till Sunday cost Rs.59.03 in Delhi, Rs.64.87 in Kolkata, Rs.66.09 in Mumbai and Rs.59.45 in Chennai, while diesel was available at Rs.44.18 in Delhi, Rs.48.07 in Kolkata, Rs.51.25 in Mumbai and Rs.45.36 in Chennai.
 
Basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol was increased from Rs.8.48 per litre to Rs.9.48, and on unbranded diesel from Rs.9.83 to Rs.11.33, a Central Board of Excise and Customs notification said.
 
The increase in excise will fetch the exchequer over Rs.3,200 crore during the remaining part of the fiscal till March-end.
 
IOC last revised prices on January 15, making under one rupee cuts in transport fuel prices, with petrol prices per litre being reduced by Re.0.32 and diesel by Re.0.85, both at Delhi, with corresponding price revision in other states.
 
The Indian basket of crude oils, composed of 73 percent sour grade Dubai and Oman crudes and the rest by sweet grade UK Brent, closed on the previous trading day on Thursday at $31.05 a barrel of 159 litres, after having fallen below $25 earlier in the month.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Don’t Expect a Rate Cut: RBI may await for the Budget
The central bank is likely to monitor the targets and consider the rationale of any adjustments and thus would wait for the signals from the Budget, says DBS report
 
The Reserve Bank of India, which will announce its monetary policy on Tuesday, is most likely to keep the key rates on hold. "After 125 basis points (bps) worth rate cuts in 2015, the benchmark repo rate is likely to be held at 6.75% and reverse repo at 5.75%. Reserve ratios will be left unchanged, we reckon. We see room for a 25bps cut in March or April if the FY16-17 Budget satisfies the central bank on the government’s fiscal consolidation efforts," says DBS Bank Ltd in a report.
 
According to the research report, although the inflation is still within the RBI's January 2016 target, it faces risks, like the implementation of the Pay Commission's proposals. CPI inflation numbers have been inching up since third quarter of 2015. From a low of 3.9% in the September quarter, inflation rose to more than a year’s high at 5.6% by December. Core inflation, while still benign, has also tracked the uptrend. Other price indicators, for instance WPI inflation and PMI sub-indices are also off recent lows. The disinflationary impact of low crude prices was more than offset by a sharp jump in food price pressures and was not helped by adverse base effects. Service sector inflation remains sticky and indeed rose to 4% from 3.1% in the September quarter.
 
It said, "Despite the recent increase, the inflation outlook appears manageable. The RBI’s inflation target of 6% for January 2016 is unlikely to be breached. Excess capacity in the economy and slower turnaround in demand indicators suggest core inflation is likely to stabilise around 5% in the March 2016 quarter. Inflationary expectations are elevated but low oil prices are likely to temper a renewed climb in the indicators. We expect FY15-16 CPI inflation to average 5%, which will rise to 5.4% in FY16/17. The price trend thus is benign compared to historical trends, but expected to stay modestly above target the RBI’s 5% target for next year."
 
"The elephant in the room is the Pay Commission proposals," DBS said adding, "If the Panel’s recommendations are adopted at the FY16-17 Budget, there will be a temporary spike in prices when the increment kicks-in this year. Of concern particularly are the 140% increase in the housing allowance and potential second-order impact from higher public-sector wages, which we estimate could lift annual inflation by 100bps above the RBI’s 5% target for March 2017. The impact would be muted if wage increases were staggered or partly deferred to the next year."
 
According to DBS, the Budget 2016-17 would be a key factor to watch. After meeting this year’s goals, the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline will be put to test in FY16-17. Any signs of a delay in fiscal consolidation efforts would be seen as inflationary, it said.
 
Last year the RBI lowered repo rate by 25bps soon after the FY15-16 Budget, even though the deficit target had been adjusted higher. This was seen as an immediate endorsement of the government’s move to rationalise subsidies and re-channel savings towards higher capital expenditure.
 
"This time, the central bank is likely to monitor the targets and consider the rationale of any adjustments. If the additional fiscal room (higher deficit) is channelled towards higher capex spending and improvement in revenue collections, the RBI would likely take a favourable view. In the event, the RBI is likely to await the budget announcement before taking further action," DBS said.
 
According to the research note, the need of the hour for the government is to strike a balance between, fresh spending commitments, a pro-growth stance and compensation for low tax buoyancy or disinvestment proceeds. However, a deficit target higher than 3.5% of GDP target could be adopted for FY16-17, just as the windfall from low commodity prices fades, DBS added.
 

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