No immediate uptrend in sight

Markets likely to open weak tomorrow and remain listless

The dip we were anticipating has come about. The BSE Sensex ended the day at 17,411points, 167 points lower than the previous close and the Nifty fell 1.09% to close at 5,205 points. The market opened with a big gap following the hike in repo rates by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday evening. It had recovered somewhat in morning trade, but weakened again during the mid-day session and did not recover from there. The central bank surprised the market with an increase in the repo and reverse repo rates to curb inflationary pressures before the scheduled April annual policy meeting.

The Indian government has said that it expects the economy to expand by 7.2% in the current fiscal year and by 8.5% in the next year. The RBI expects the prices of food and petroleum to start coming down once the effect of the interest rate hike comes into effect. The RBI and the government will sit together on 29th March to get a fix on the government’s borrowing programme for the first half of FY 2010-11.

The rate hike took its toll on auto and realty stocks which are rate-sensitive sectors. Among the big losers were Reliance Industries (down Rs16), Housing Development Finance Corporation (down Rs67), ICICI Bank (down Rs19), Infosys Technologies (down Rs18) and Tata Steel (down Rs14). There were a few gainers as well: Reliance Communications (Rs3), Bharti Airtel (Rs4), HDFC Bank (Rs20) and Tata Consultancy Services (up Rs5).

Asian markets were mostly down. The key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan fell by 0.72%-2.05%. US stocks were also down last Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 52 points (down 0.49%) to 10,726 points, interrupting the eight-session winning streak. The S&P 500 index dropped 6.93 points (down 0.59%) to 1,158.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 19.67 points (down 0.82%) to 2,371.61. All European markets were in the red on renewed concerns over the Greek debt crisis. Dow Futures is trading down 57. We expect the market to open weak tomorrow and remain listless. There will be no immediate uptrend.

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