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Indian Indices Trade Marginally Lower; Banking Stocks Witness Selling
Fri, 20 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day on a negative note, the Indian share markets witnessed choppy trades and are presently trading near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading in the red with stocks in the banking sector and metal sector witnessing maximum selling pressure. Stocks in the telecom sector are trading in the green.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 101 points (down 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 29 points (down 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.2%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading flat. The rupee is trading at 68.09 to the US$.

Today's the day for the US. All eyes are said to be on the US Capitol as Mr Donald Trump formally replaces President Obama in the White House. At noon today, Mr Trump will take the Oath of Office and be sworn in as America's 45th president.

Amid the clamor, both positive and negative voices can be heard. Speculations about what effect his presidency will have on various countries are doing the rounds. The US is the biggest economy on earth by far; any decisions made by the US government will have a big impact.

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As per the news, Mr Trump is said to take executive action shortly after he takes office. He is also expected to reverse some policies of Barack Obama.

On individual issues, one of the many things Trump plans to change is terms of engagement with other countries. He has promised to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

The TPP is a trade agreement signed (but not yet ratified) by twelve countries accounting for 40% of global GDP and 33% of global trade. The landmark deal was slated to reduce tariffs and boost trade among the signatories. Unfortunately, neither China - hailed as the global factory - or India, are part of it.

If the deal goes through, that's bad news for non-member nations. India could lose out to member nations who will become preferred trade partners in a post-TPP world.

On the other hand, if the deal goes for a toss, that would keep Indian exports competitive in the global framework. So with Trump unlikely to support TPP, India may heave a sigh of relief.

However, there are several other threats that Trump's presidency could pose for India. For one, Trump seems to be against free trade. He agrees on opposition to free trade, opposition to trade agreements, and opposition to importing goods from lower wage countries.

If he restricts trade, Indian manufacturing and IT sector jobs will feel the impact.

All we can do for now is wait and see how the above developments pan out.

For investors, this is a reminder that geopolitical equations and their changing nature deserve attention while taking into account an industry's growth prospects. And within an industry, it may pay well if the investors take care to analyze and give more weightage to companies that are better geared to withstand the impact of such developments in the future.

In another news update, according to a report by State Bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has replaced as much as 44% of the currency extinguished by the demonetisation drive with new notes by December 30. In other words, more than half of the currency was yet to be replaced till December 30.

Further, as per the report, this issue could well persist until the end of February by which time, close to 90% of the currency would have been replaced.

What the arithmetic of currency printing says

What the arithmetic of currency printing says


However, is the above arithmetic correct? Vivek Kaul doesn't think so. As per his calculations, it could take at least till the end of April for the situation to get back to normal.

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