Of late, there has been a mild, but growing level of hype about the coming epoch of peak world coal extraction. The amount of coal consumed every year can't grow forever. So when will the terminal decline set in?
The local market is likely to witness a soft-to-flat opening today on mixed global cues, concerns about domestic quarterly earnings reports and inflationary pressures that may force the Reserve Bank of India to hike interest rates later this month. Wall Street closed mixed on Monday, recovering from early losses, as hopes of strong earnings helped to offset the lingering fears about the debt crisis in Europe. Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade today on following a rise in the value of the yen against the dollar and worries about the European debt crisis. The SGX Nifty was up 10.50 points at 5,767.50 from its previous close of 5,757.
The Sensex began with an opening gap down of 22.61 points (three points on the Nifty) on Monday and made an intra-day high of 19,720.43 (5,907 on the Nifty). This was the lowest intra-day high in the past 19 days. Massive and steady selling soon took over. The Sensex broke through the support of 19,500 before noon and in the closing session witnessed a sharp sell-off.
The indices made a 20-day low hitting the 19,158.43 mark, after easily breaking the support of 19,500. Finally, the Sensex closed at 19,224.12 (down 2.38%) and the Nifty at 5,763 (2.38%). The 1,319-point gain in the 16-day rally which started on 10 December 2010 has been completely wiped off in the past five days.
The advance-decline on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was, however, slightly better yesterday at 176:1,228 from that on Friday. The market has sharply fallen for the past five days and there is some scope for a bounce back after the morning session on Tuesday. But this doesn't mean that the decline which started on 4th January will come to a halt soon. After a day or two of rally, if at all, the market will fall again. The support may come around 18,500 on the Sensex and 5,600 on the Nifty.
US markets closed mixed overnight, recovering from early losses, as hopes of strong corporate earnings offsets worries about the lingering debt crisis in Europe. Early losses were driven by concerns that some Euro zone members are struggling to repay their debt. However, blue chips like Apple Inc, General Electric Co and Ford Motor Company ended higher on speculations of strong earning numbers. Alcoa was upbeat as it reported better-than-expected quarterly numbers after the US exchanges closed for trade. Analysts opined that a correction was due after the markets gained in the last quarter of 2010.
The Dow declined 37.31 points (0.32%) to 11,637.45. The S&P 500 slipped 1.75 points (0.14%) to 1,269.75 while the Nasdaq added 4.63 points (0.17%) to 2,707.80.
Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Tuesday following the strengthening of the yen against the dollar and nervousness ahead of government bond auctions in Europe. Investors were concerned about the contagion spreading to other nations in Europe.
The Shanghai Composite was down 0.15%, the KLSE Composite fell 0.19%, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.23%, the Straits Times shed 0.10% and the Seoul Composite was down 0.34%. On the other hand, the Hang Seng rose 0.26%, the Jakarta Composite surged 1.07% and the Taiwan Weighted gained 0.79% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was up 10.50 points at 5,767.50 from its previous close of 5,757.
On the domestic front, prime minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting on high food prices today even as agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said the government has no control over high vegetable prices.
Onion remained expensive at Rs55-Rs60 per kg in retail markets across the country. Prices could have gone up further but for the calling-off a two-day strike by traders in Nashik, the major producing area, within hours.
The meeting, called by the prime minister, is expected to be attended by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, besides Mr Pawar.