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Global markets: Mixed sentiments

Jul 19, 2003

US markets ended mixed for the week. While the Dow gained 1%, the NASDAQ was down 2%. The week started on a positive note led by the gains in financial services sector stocks. Both Citigroup and Bank of America announced their quarterly results, which were better than expected, and this led to the gains on indices.In the next two days markets remained subdued. On Tuesday the Federal Reserve Chief, Allan Greenspan gave a cautious outlook regarding the US economy and said that he might go for another cut in interest rates. This led to weakness on Tuesday. On Wednesday, cautious outlook given by Ford, Motorola led to further weakness. Though Ford reported better than expected earnings, it gave an outlook indicating that it would not be able to meet the expectations for the next quarter. Motorola on the other hand reported a decline in the bottomline growth mainly due to increased competition in the handset market.

On Thursday the markets saw strong selling pressure on the back of weakness in IBM and Nokia. While IBM's results met with expectations, the performance was on account of currency fluctuations and not backed by operational improvement. Hence it failed to enthuse investors. Nokia too announced its quarterly results this week. The results were lower than expectations. The company also gave a cautious outlook going forward. On Friday however, Microsoft, reported better results and gave a positive outlook regarding its performance going forward. This cheered investors leading to gains on Friday. This apart, Ericsson indicated that it expects to turnaround during the current financial year. Next week will witness another set of quarterly reports and this may induce volatility in the markets during the coming week.

(Price in US $)28-Jun-035-Jul-03Change
ICICI Bank7.68.39.6%
HDFC Bank22.421.0-5.9%
Dr. Reddy's27.625.7-6.7%
Satyam Infoway8.67.2-16.9%

World over, the markets remained mixed during the current week. Hang Seng (2%) and Dax (1%) were among the top gainers. On the other hand NASDAQ (2%) and Nikkei (1%) lost ground during the week. Cautious outlook given by Samsung and Nokia led to the weakness in the Asian markets. Similarly the weakness seen in Nokia and SAP (the worlds largest business management software company) added to weakness in European indices.

Hang Seng 9,912 10,141 2.3%
Dax 3,327 3,367 1.2%
Dow 9,120 9,188 0.8%
FTSE 4,058 4,073 0.4%
BSE 3,676 3,648 -0.8%
Nikkei 9,635 9,528 -1.1%
NASDAQ 1,734 1,709 -1.5%

Indian ADRs, which gained significantly during last week, lost ground during the current week. ICICI Bank was the only gainer and gained about 10%. Technology ADRs were in the red during the week. Major losers included Infosys (10%), Wipro (11%) and Satyam (12%). It should be noted that cautious outlook given by tech majors in US led to the selling pressure in the technology stocks in US. This seems to have been reflected on Indian software ADRs also. Wipro announced its quarterly results on Friday. The company reported a revenue growth of 31% on a YoY basis. Profits on the other hand have improved by a lower 8% in the same period. The sell off in the software counters was also due to the poor results announced by Wipro.

Markets sentiments world over during the week were driven by quarterly result announcements made by major corporations and this led to a mixed sentiments across the globe. US economic reports failed to create any impact and investors chose to focus towards the earnings announcements. Next week will witness a further slew of quarterly earnings and this will drive sentiments during the coming week.

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