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Markets in the doldrums

| 12/5/2011 3:18 PM Monday

In a longish fortnight after quite some time, the markets continued with their roller coaster ride, with a clear direction still to emerge. Overall, it was a rather dull fortnight, with the markets ending 4% lower from where they began. The Sensex and Nifty were down 4% each, having declined by 652 and 198 points respectively over the fortnight. All the other broader indices too declined by an average 4% over the same period. If one looks at the movement of the markets, there seems to be no bias for or against any particular category of stocks. This is reflected in the way the Mid- and Small-Cap stocks have performed over the past fortnight. The BSE Mid-Cap Index was down 3.83%, while the BSE Small-Cap Index declined 4.35% over this period.

Index 30-Nov 16-Nov % Change
Sensex 16,123.46 16,775.87 -3.89
S&P CNX Nifty 4,832.05 5,030.45 -3.94
BSE - 100 Index 8,330.57 8,682.89 -4.06
BSE - 200 Index 1,953.03 2,032.73 -3.92
BSE - 500 Index 6,117.00 6,368.99 -3.96
NSE - CNX 100 4,709.25 4,902.20 -3.94
NSE - CNX 500 3,811.25 3,965.45 -3.89

There is gloom all over, and none of the sectors seems to be trading with a positive bias. Consumer Durables and Realty stocks were the worst affected, with the BSE CD Index declining by as much as 8.55% and the BSE Realty Index down by 6.10% over the fortnight. Metals, Power, Banks and Oil & Gas companies followed suit. Healthcare companies were the only saving grace. The BSE HC Index was the only one to end positive, up 1.08%.

Index 30-Nov 16-Nov % Change
BSE HC 6,055.41 5,990.63 1.08
BSE CG 9,667.90 9,812.87 -1.48
BSE Teck 3,352.80 3,465.69 -3.26
BSE IT 5,499.09 5,696.14 -3.46
BSE FMCG 4,040.82 4,194.95 -3.67
BSE Auto 8,434.28 8,798.44 -4.14
BSE Oil & Gas 8,152.63 8,589.61 -5.09
BSE Bankex 9,850.43 10,402.63 -5.31
BSE Power 1,936.39 2,046.71 -5.39
BSE Metal 10,224.51 10,840.21 -5.68
BSE Realty 1,571.16 1,673.22 -6.1
BSE CD 5,644.19 6,171.76 -8.55

Globally too, the scenario isn’t changing. In fact, the Indian markets have been taking cues from the global markets and tracking them very closely. Except for the Nikkei,which was up 0.17%, all the other regions have ended the fortnight in the red. The Shanghai Composite was down 2.21%, followed by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which declined by 2.94%. The worst performer was the FTSE, which declined by as much as 3.12%. This clearly reflects the market mood on the European front.

Index 29-Nov 16-Nov % Change
Nikkei 8,477.82 8,463.16 0.17
Shanghai Composite 2,412.39 2,466.96 -2.21
Dow Jones Ind Avg 11,555.63 11905.59 -2.94
FTSE 5,337.00 5,509.00 -3.12

The best news for the market mood could actually have come from the ongoing session of Parliament. While the situation showed promise, the evolving reality seems to be starkly different. The government is yet to find a foothold in the Parliament, and no matter how much it tries, any meaningful business still eludes the House. Even steps initiated towards reforms have been taken back, forced by a stronger opposition not only from the people outside the government, but also from those within the ruling party. All this throws the markets deeper into uncertainty. Fighting back has been a problem so far, with the bulls and bears struggling on their own. We believe that this will continue for some time now.

The global situation is not showing any signs of improvement, and the markets will wait to take cues from what happens there. On the domestic front, there is a lot to be delivered by the government in terms of decision making and reforms. Till the time this  sets in, the markets will probably go nowhere.

 

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