Uncertainty over unchanged rates

Dalal Street cheered the FED’s decision to keep rates unchanged as the world stock exchanges had diverse reactions

The week gone by had drama, plenty of action and a holiday all thrown in. Rate cut or no rate cut continues to dog the markets and the same is the story in India or the USA. FED chairperson Janet Yellen decided to keep rates unchanged and while US markets cheered her action initially, they soon realised otherwise and fell both on Thursday and Friday.

Federal Reserve Board Chairperson Janet Yellen answers questions at a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Pic/Getty Images/AFP
Federal Reserve Board Chairperson Janet Yellen answers questions at a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee meeting. Pic/Getty Images/AFP

In India, people want Raghuram Rajan to cut rates on September 29, but he made a case at the CII event held on Friday in Mumbai where he explained the perils of cutting rates in the present scenario. It was like the opening scene of a three act play.

The markets in India cheered the FED’s decision to keep rates unchanged but significantly gave up a tad more than half the day’s gains. Sensex gained 608.70 points or 2.38 per cent to close at 26,218.91 points for the last week.

Nifty gained 192.60 points or 2.47 per cent to close at 7,981.90 points. Broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 2.37 per cent, 2.14 per cent and 2.04 per cent. BSEMIDCAP gained 1.20 per cent and BSESMALLCAP gained 0.99 per cent.

In sectors, top gainer was BSEBANKEX up a massive 5.05 per cent followed by BSEPOWER and BSEREALTY up an identical 3.72 per cent. BSEHEALTHCARE rose 3.06 per cent. Amongst the losers were BSECONSDURABLE down 3.30 per cent followed by BSECAPGOOD 2.41 per cent and BSEAUTO 0.43 per cent.

In individual stocks, banks were big gainers with Axis bank up 7.48 per cent followed by Union Bank 7.32 per cent and Yes Bank 8.26 per cent. Other gainers included Tata Power 7.47 per cent, Sun Pharma 6.97 per cent and NTPC 6.32 per cent.

Losers were led by Tata Motors down 4.96 per cent and followed by L&T 3.69 per cent, Indian Oil 2.18 per cent and BHEL 1.35 per cent.

World markets were a mixed bag on Friday with Asia mixed and Europe by and large down and so to US. Dow Jones closed at 16,384.58 points a weekly loss of 48.51 points or 0.29 per cent. The rupee was a big gainer up 87 paisa or 1.31 per cent at Rs 65.67.

The stage is set for a bitter and closely fought election in Bihar which will be held in five phases. These polls are very crucial for India and the happenings in the country. The market has a trading holiday on Friday, September 25 and this means that effectively on the sixth trading day from today RBI would have its credit policy review.

Markets would move on expectations of a rate cut happening but after what the RBI governor said on Friday about the dangers of pushing rate cuts, I would be less hopeful of one. The bears were forced to cover on Friday when you had an intraday gain of 508 points on the Sensex and there would have been none left thereafter.

One seems to have forgotten Greece where elections are to be held next week and the outcome could again become a cause for concern for the European Union.

Inflation data has shown that wholesale prices have fallen for the tenth successive month and are at -4.95 per cent while consumer price index has eased to 3.66 per cent in August against 7.03 per cent a year ago and 3.69 per cent in July. The monsoon has been the joker in the pack, inflation being controlled is indeed a great achievement.

The weekend has been a boon for Mumbaikars and Maharashtra, where the depression has brought much needed heavy rains for central Maharashtra. This week would be choppy with a negative bias at the start. Key drivers would be the noise on what RBI may do and overseas cues. The event will happen and it is only the timing that people are now waiting for.

With so much at stake, markets will be volatile and results will add a new angle in another two weeks’ time. In short, traders delight and opportunity for investors to cherry pick. Trade with caution.

Arun Kejriwal is founder of the Mumbai-based advisory firm Kejriwal Research & Investment Services Pvt Ltd. Readers are invited to read more about these and other issues on his website http://ak57.in

Disclaimer: No financial information whatsoever published anywhere in this newspaper should be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities, or as advice to do so in any way whatsoever. All matter published here is for educational and information purposes only and under no circumstances should be used for actual trading or making investment decisions.

Readers must consult a qualified financial advisor prior to making any actual investment or trading decisions, based on information published here. Any reader taking decisions based on any information published here does so entirely at his or her risk.

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