Stocks
Sensex, Nifty may try to attempt a weak rally – Weekly closing report
We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that Sensex, Nifty were losing bullish momentum. The major indices of the Indian stock markets have suffered a sharp correction in the current week due to a greater expectancy of a hike in interest rates worldwide. On Friday, however, the major indices were range-bound and closed with minor gains over Thursday’s close. Tuesday and Wednesday were trading holidays. The trends of the major indices in the course of the week’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Reduced chances of a US rate hike, coupled with broadly positive Asian indices, lower crude oil prices and a strengthened rupee, buoyed the Indian equity markets during the late afternoon trade session on Monday. However, gains were capped by profit booking, negative European markets and caution ahead of key quarterly earnings' results. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,698 advances and 1,184 declines. On the NSE, there were 843 advances, 621 declines, 67 unchanged, on Monday
 
CNX Nifty traded firm on the back of bearish US dollar/ Indian rupee futures prices. Sector-wise, IT (information technology) stocks traded with sideways sentiments. Banking and pharma stocks faced profit booking at higher levels and traded with mixed sentiments. These were the observations of market analysts on Monday.
 
India's steel imports declined by 37.3% in the first six months of the current fiscal and exports rose by 35.6% in the same period, according to an official report. "Import of total finished steel at 3.594 million tonnes (mt) in April-September 2016-17 declined by 37.3% over same period of last year. Export of total finished steel was up by 35.6% in April-September 2016-17 (3.03 mt) over same period of last year," said the reports of the Steel Ministry's Joint Plant Committee. In September only, imports fell by 46% to 0.611 mt over the same month the last year and exports were at 0.655 mt, up by a staggering 111% over same month last year. Compared to August, steel exports were down 3.5% in the last month. The report said country's consumption of total finished steel saw a growth of 2.5% in first half of the current fiscal at 40.561 mt over same period of last year. Consumption in September only was 6.731 mt, up by 7.6% over the same month last year and declined by 7.7% over August 2016. "Production for sale of total finished steel at 48.846 mt, registered a growth of 9% during April-September 2016-17 over same period of last year," said the report. Overall finished steel production for sale in September was at 8.042 mt, up by 10.5% over corresponding month last year. September production declined by 8.4% as compared to domestic output in August. Tata Steel closed at Rs418.30, up 2.93% on the BSE, on Monday.
 
The Indian equity markets on Thursday plunged as investors were spooked ahead of the release of inflation macro-data and upcoming key quarterly results. Global cues such as increased chances of a US rate hike, disappointing China trade data and renewed fears of an early exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit), too, dragged the key indices to end lower by more than 1.50% each. On the NSE, there were 349 advances, 1,290 declines and 57 unchanged. On the BSE there were 887 advances, 1,977 declines and 116 unchanged, on Thursday.
 
The benchmark indices opened on a negative note in sync with their Asian peers. The Asian, domestic and European markets plunged due to increased chances of US Federal Reserve (US Fed) going in for a rate hike in December. The September meeting minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) revealed that most members were in favour of a rate hike in the later part of the calendar year.  A rate hike can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India, and is also expected to dent business margins as access to capital from the US will become expensive. In addition, sentiments were dampened by disappointing factory output data released on Monday and anxiety over the upcoming release of key quarterly results. India's factory output remained subdued for the second consecutive month -- decelerating by (-)0.7% in August from a decline of (-)2.49% in July and a 6.3% rise in the corresponding month of last year.
 
Global software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday reported Rs6,586 crore net profit for second quarter (July-September) of 2016-17 fiscal, registering just a 8.8% year-on-year (YoY) growth of Rs6,055 crore. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, the Indian IT major said revenue for the quarter under review (Q2) increased to Rs29,284 crore from Rs27,166 crore in same period year ago, posting 7.8% YoY growth. In dollar terms, net income grew 6.3% YoY to $984 million in Q2 from $926 million, while gross income increased by 5.2% to $4.4 billion from $4.2 billion in the same period a year ago, under the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). The operating profit for the quarter was Rs7,617 crore and operating margin 26%, added the filing. TCS shares closed at Rs2,328.50, down 2.17% on BSE, on Thursday.
 
India's annual retail inflation eased last month to 4.31% from 5.05% in August and 4.41% reported during the corresponding period of last year, official data showed on Thursday.
 
The Indian equity markets on Friday made gains during the late-afternoon trade session on the back of positive inflation macro-data points and value buying. However, gains were capped due to long-liquidation which was triggered by caution over the ongoing quarterly earnings season. The caution also led to lower trading volumes on the NSE.  On the NSE, on Friday, there were 1,028 advances, 576 declines and 275 unchanged. Earlier in the day, major indices in the Asian markets had closed in the green.

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Centre to use postal network for pulses distribution
The central government has decided to use postal network for distribution of subsidized pulses and release more chana from buffer stock to ensure availability of these commodities at reasonable prices during the ongoing festival season.
 
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Inter Ministerial Committee on prices of essential commodities headed by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande here on Friday, an official source said. 
 
The committee at its meeting also reviewed availability and prices of essential commodities, specially pulses, and suggested that in the absence of government outlets in the states, postal networks should be used for the pulses' distribution.
 
The committee observed that there were declining trends in the prices of pulses in recent weeks. It also reviewed procurement arrangements of Kharif pulses by government agencies, an official release said.
 
It was informed that so far 500 procurement centres have been opened and farmers were being paid through cheques or bank transfer instantly. 
 
The meeting was attended by senior officials from the ministries of Agriculture, Food, Commerce, Revenue, Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), the source said. 
 
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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COMMENTS

Deepak Narain

7 months ago

All kinds of odd things are happening nowadays. Next month, you may read public sector banks selected for selling vegetables.

Is RBI’s upward projection for inflation, deliberate?

The consumer price index (CPI) inflation for September 2016 declined to 4.31% compared with 5.05% in August due to continued moderation in prices of vegetables and pulses. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its monetary policy earlier this month, had forecast consumer inflation at 5% for FY2017 with an expectation of some moderation to 4.5% by the end of FY2018. However, according to a research note, the deceleration in CPI shows that either the RBI's inflation projection was significantly off the mark or the central bank deliberately had an upward bias.

In its Ecowrap report, State Bank of India (SBI), says, "We estimate October 2016 CPI inflation number to be printing below 4%. If that is the case, another 25 basis points (bps) rate cut is on in December policy. But the bottom-line is that CPI inflation will possibly be sub 3.5% in November and will possibly stay between 3.5%-4% for next 2-3 months as well. Clearly, RBI inflation projection in October policy was significantly off the mark or deliberately had an upward bias."

 
"The other part of this story is that a lot of doubting Thomases and self-acclaimed inflation experts are now also toeing the same line: a 4% inflation number by November. But at the same time it is curious to see that a majority of such economists and analysts in India still feel eminently reluctant to vouch for an accommodative monetary policy regime even as inflations continue to surprise on the downside," the report added.
 
The difference between CPI and wholesale price index (WPI), which was as much as 870 bps in October 2015, had declined to 131 bps in August 2016. The SBI report says, for September it expects the difference to be at 44 bps. "In the next few months this difference will narrow down further as CPI is going to decline and WPI is going to increase. The convergence of CPI and WPI is eminently good news given the fact that India recently adopted an inflation targeting framework and it is important that both inflation indicators move in tandem."
 
 
According to SBI Ecowrap, what is most important though is the uncertainty surrounding the CPI forecast. It said, "Now that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will decide on rates, it will be interesting to see what forecasting technique the MPC members adhere to. In the Indian context, standard univariate Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average models (ARIMA) time series forecasting or even macro modelling may not work. For example, generating forecasts under (and often unstated) assumptions about exogenous variables such as oil prices, government spending, and global growth will throw up illusory or elusive forecasts or even both! Under such circumstances, it may be better for the MPC to work with short term forecasts for next three to six months as macro variables like oil prices are almost difficult to predict. Remember the oil price crash in FY2015 that had resulted in inflation undershooting RBI projection by more than 300 basis points in December 14."
 
Meanwhile, capital expenditure (Capex) by the private corporate sector was 24.7% lower than the revised estimate for FY2015. Capex by the private corporate sector was estimated at Rs1.51 lakh crore in 2015-16. The RBI has further stated that in order to maintain even this lower level of aggregate Capex in 2016-17, an amount of Rs83,800 crore will have to be spent from the new projects that will be sanctioned financial assistance in 2016-17.
 
 
"We believe project investment is crawling back at a slow pace in the current fiscal. Efforts made by Government in improving ease of doing business are likely to provide succour and push demand cycle in future," the report concluded.

 

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COMMENTS

Govinda Warrier

7 months ago

Let us hope MPC and RBI will keep their eyes and ears open and keep in view all the concerns and anxieties expressed and suggestions offered by experts. RBI too has its own think tank. Hi

tvkamath48

7 months ago

Good information on inflation.

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