The stock market may rise on Friday but there is more downside in store
After only three days of rally, the bears have wrestled back control from the bulls. The stock markets fell sharply on Thursday, erasing in just two days, all the gains made since last Thursday. Yesterday, we had mentioned that only if the Nifty closes above 6,140, there would be some semblance of hope of an uptrend. However, this did not happen. After a huge opening decline, broad-based weakness dragged the markets down, in a steady declining downtrend, without any fight back from the bulls, throughout the day.
The BSE 30-share Sensex opened at 20,579 (which is incidentally also its day’s high) and moved down to its intraday low of 20,189, before closing at 20,229 (down 406 points or 1.97%). Similarly, the NSE 50-share Nifty opened at 6,096, hit a high of 6,097 and then trended down through the day to hit the low of 5,985. The Nifty closed at 5,999, (down 123 points or 2.02%) shy of the psychological level of 6,000.
All indices were in the red. PSU banks, media and finance were the worst hit, down 2.62%, 2.90% and 2.50% respectively.
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, just two advanced, showing market-wide weakness. The two gainers were Maruti (0.34%); Cairn (0.30%). While the top five losers were ACC (3.74%); Indusind Bank (3.61%); Sesa Sterlite (3.56%); PNB (3.50%) and Ambuja Cement (3.44%).
Of the 1,228 shares on the NSE, 323 closed in the positive, 855 closed in the negative while 50 remained unchanged. The number of declines outweighed the number of advances by 2.64 times, clearly indicating market-wide weakness.
Indian markets were spooked by rumours of possible tapering which could begin next year when one US Federal reserve official remarked that tapering is definitely on the agenda for FOMC’s December meet. Fitch, a ratings agency, said that there will be a lesser degree of capital outflows once taper begins. Fitch believes that the pressure on the rupee has increased inflation expectations. However, there could be further pressure on the rupee after tapering begins (resembling the sell-off that happened in June this year). Fitch also believes that global liquidity conditions are expected to tighten, going ahead.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Goldman Sachs has forecast that the S&P would fall by 10% in 2014. They predicted that the S&P, which has been hitting records, could fall 6% in the next three months and 11% over the next 12 months, to levels of 1,700 and 1,600, respectively. While a 10% decline in equity market is nothing, the forecast looks dramatic because there has been no such major decline this year and everyone believes that the market will continue to head higher.
Yesterday, the US markets closed down after trending steadily in the green for most of the day. A late sell-off saw markets close in the red. The S&P closed at 1,781 while Dow closed at 15,900.
European markets were seen mostly flat, with exception of IBEX and FTSE which were marginally up.
Meanwhile in Asia, China's HSBC Flash PMI missed expectations, falling to 50.4 vs expectations of 50.8 exp, its sharpest month-to-month fall since May, raising concerns about the state of the Chinese economy.
With the exception of Nikkei, all Asian markets were down. Hang Seng extended its losses by 120 points more. The Bank of Japan committed to continue with its ultra-loose monetary policy as Yen weakened further, which saw Nikkei shoot up nearly 2%. The US futures were trading positive.
The Supreme Court said its order of handing over title deeds of Rs20,000 crore to SEBI has not been followed by Sahara in letter and spirit
The Supreme Court on Thursday while restraining Sahara group directors, including Subrata Roy from leaving the country directed the group not to sell any of its properties to anybody.
"We are prima facie of the view that our order dated 28 October 2013, has not been complied with in letter and spirit. We direct all the contemners not to move out of the country," the apex court said
The court also directed the Sahara Group not to sell or alienate any of its property till its orders are complied with.
Market regulator SEBI on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that Sahara group overvalued its properties and did not hand over all original title deeds of assets worth Rs20,000 crore as per its direction.
Earlier, on 1st November, the apex allowed the Sahara chief and two other directors to travel abroad, but said if the property title deeds worth Rs20,000 crore are not submitted to SEBI in three weeks Roy has to come back to India.
Goa chief minister has ordered a preliminary enquiry into the matter and also asked the police to see if an FIR can be filed against Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal who is accused of sexual assault by a woman journalist of the weekly magazine
Weekly magazine Tehelka's editor Tarun Tejpal’s alleged sexual harassment of a woman colleague snowballed into a major controversy on Thursday. While the Goa police are considering summoning him, there are questions being raised over the way Tehelka has handled the issue.
Goa chief minister Manohar Parikkar held a meeting with top civil and police officials when a preliminary probe was ordered into the incident. Parrikar has asked the police to see if a first information report (FIR) can be filed in the case.
While the police have reportedly asked for CCTV footage of the five-star hotel where the incident took place, they have not ruled out the possibility of taking suo motu cognizance of the incident and proceed on that basis.
Last night, Tejpal in a letter to Tehelka's managing editor Shoma Chaudhary, said, “The last few days have been most testing, and I squarely take the blame for this.... A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation has led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for.”
Tejpal is a founder member of the Tehelka magazine.
He also announced that he was “recusing” from his job for six months after an email by the woman journalist of his magazine alleging sexual assault on her by him was made public.
The woman journalist had reportedly complained to Chaudhury that Tejpal had twice pulled her into a lift in a hotel in Goa about 10 days back during an event organised by the magazine. She is now said to be seeking constitution of a committee by the magazine to go into the issue and take action.
Chaudhary sent a mail to the Tehelka staffers apprising them of the development. “This may come as a rude surprise to many of you...There has been an untoward incident, and though he has extended an unconditional apology to the colleague involved, Tarun will be recusing himself as the editor of Tehelka for the next six months,” she said.
However, Chaudhury's statements on the issue attracted criticism from women activists and senior journalists who have demanded that the law should take its own course.
On Thursday, Chaudhury said that she wanted time to act 'correctly' on it.
Meanwhile, the union government has refused to be drawn into the issue. Manish Tewari, minister for information and broadcasting (MIB) told reporters in Goa, that this is a very sensitive issue. "After scrutinising every detail regarding the Tarun Tejpal issue and if there is any reaction to be given in that issue then we will definitely give our reaction," he said.