Stocks
Uncertain terrain: Weekly Market Report

Nifty likely to hit 5,610 and may be supported to around 5,475

The government’s move to boost foreign fund inflows into the Indian market saw the market surging for the seventh week in a row. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have so far pumped in Rs21,590 crore (as of 17 February 2011) into Indian stock markets as against a net outflow of Rs26,873 crore in the calendar year 2011. The market closed the week with gains of 3%.

The Sensex surged 541 points to close the week at 18,289 and the Nifty finished at 5,564, up 183 points. The market is now poised for a correction after the recent gains, which saw all kinds of stocks shoot up. The Nifty is likely to hit 5,610 and may be supported to around 5,475.

The market managed a flat close with a positive bias on Monday on support from the European markets in late trade. Select buying towards the end of trade enabled the market extend its gains on Tuesday. Optimism that Greece would stand by its austerity measures and strong institutional support saw the market closing 1% higher on Wednesday.

The market, which opened in the red on selling pressure and weak global cues, saw a good recovery in post-noon trade. But the upmove lacked strength leading to flat close with a negative bias on Thursday. Positive cues from the global markets helped the benchmarks close in the green on Friday.

In the sectoral space, the BSE Realty index jumped 10% and BSE Power surged 9%, whereas BSE Oil and Gas (down 1%) was the sole loser.

BHEL (up 17%), State Bank of India (up 11%), DLF (up10%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 8%) and Larsen & Toubro (up 7%) were the Sensex topper in the week. Cipla (down 8%), Reliance Industries (down 3%); Coal India (down 2%), GAIL India and Hindalco Industries (down 1% each) settled lower in the list.

The Nifty was led by Reliance Power (up 20%), BHEL (up 16%), Axis Bank (up 14%), SBI and Reliance Communications (up 11% each). The top losers on the index were Cipla (down 8%), RIL (down 3%), Coal India (down 2%), SAIL and GAIL India (down 1% each).

Cheaper food items pulled the headline inflation to an over two-year low of 6.55% in January, the lowest since December 2009. However, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the rate of price rise was still not at an acceptable level and should fall further.

As per the data, food inflation was (-) 0.52% in January against 0.74% in December. Food inflation fell into the negative zone on account of cheaper vegetables, like potato and onion whose prices fell by 23.15% and 75.57%, respectively, on annual basis.

Meanwhile, RBI governor D Subbarao on Friday said, “The inflation and interest rate cycles have peaked and have to come down and for that the RBI will look at events like the Budget (2012-13), international crude oil prices and other variable factors to calibrate its policies.”

In corporate news, the Centre on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its verdict holding that the Indian Income Tax Department does not have jurisdiction to levy Rs11,000 crore as tax on the overseas deal between Vodafone International Holdings and Hutchison Group. The apex court held that Vodafone’s transaction with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Group was a ‘bonafide’ FDI which fell outside the tax jurisdiction of the Indian authorities.

On the global front, European finance ministers are set to decide  by Monday night on whether to extend a fresh bailout to Greece—another whopping 130 billion euros ($170 billion). But the policymakers are in a tight spot. Due to Greece’s deteriorating financial situation, if this previously-designed deal is allowed to stand, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio will still remain above 120% by the year 2020. Will they look the other way and just give the money?

The US Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in January, below analysts’ expectations for a 0.3% increase. The rise was attributed to higher prices of gasoline, renewing concerns that high energy costs would impact the recovery.

While investors are concerned about the European debt crisis and its possible impact on the Asian economy, economists opine that emerging markets face a greater risk from rising oil prices than from Greece’s rising woes.

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RBI to wait for Budget proposals before cutting interest rates

“The inflation and interest rate cycles have peaked and have to come down and for that the RBI will look at events like the Budget (2012-13), international crude oil prices and other variable factors to calibrate its policies,” RBI governor D Subbarao said on Friday

Patna, Feb 17 (PTI) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said interest rates have peaked and indicated that it would reduce them after taking into account the Budget proposals and global commodity prices, reports PTI.

“The inflation and interest rate cycles have peaked and have to come down and for that the RBI will look at events like the Budget (2012-13), international crude oil prices and other variable factors to calibrate its policies,” RBI governor D Subbarao said here yesterday.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the Budget for 2012-13 fiscal in the Lok Sabha on 16th March during which he is expected to announce steps to arrest slowdown in economic growth.

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2011-12 is expected to moderate to 6.9% from 8.4% a year ago.

Defending RBI’s decision to hike interest rates (repo) 13 times since March 2010, Mr Subbarao said the measures were required to tame inflation which had significantly crossed the threshold levels.

The RBI governor said growth had to be sacrificed to bring down inflation. Overall inflation in January stood at 6.55%.

On the overall health of the financial system, Mr Subbarao said it is sound and prudently regulated to weather the impact of global economic crisis despite the fact that “our economy is more globalised than we tend to acknowledge”.

“However, it was due to sound and prudent monetary policy of the RBI that our country was by and large saved from the blues of global economic crisis and the savings of our people stood protected in contrast to their counterparts in the US and other Western countries,” he said.

The RBI governor further said that the central bank has unlocked liquidity with a view to sustain growth. In its third quarter policy review last month, the RBI had lowered the cash reserve ratio by 0.50 percentage points to 5.5%, releasing Rs32,000 crore worth primary liquidity into the system.

The apex bank, however, did not reduce interest rates ignoring the advice of some of the members of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

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