World markets traded on a mixed tone as Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, revealed data that disappointed investors. The industrial production of China came in at 5.6% compared to expectations of 6.9% while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy on a QoQ basis came in at 1.3% compared to expectations of 1.4%. On a YoY basis, however, the GDP met its expectations of 7%. Asian markets traded with a negative bias as Japanese, Chinese and Taiwan stocks traded with losses of 0.1%, 1.11% and 0.90%, respectively. Hong Kong and Korean stocks traded with slight gains of 0.13% and 0.11%, respectively.
Precious metals declined moderately. While the gold prices, per 10 grams, fell 0.6% or Rs 154; silver prices, per kilogram, fell 0.5% or Rs 210. Crude oil prices jumped over 2.25% or Rs 74 per barrel owing to the jump in international crude oil prices. The Indian rupee against the US Dollar lost about 0.12% or 0.08 and is available at Rs 62.43.
Indian markets are likely to receive a major boost in sentiments as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in better than expected. The CPI index fell down to 5.17% compared to February's figure of 5.37%. Falling crude oil prices and better weather has ensured the prices of food articles to remain under the target of 6% inflation. Inflation's reading for the month of February increased as there were occasions of unseasonal rain. Another factor which might lift investor sentiments are predictions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. According to the IMF and the World Bank, India's economic growth rate will likely outpace China's for the next two fiscal years. The prediction of the growth rate is being made around 7.5% in 2015 and 7.9% in 2016. The Indian Government had noted the growth rate to touch 8% by March-end 2016.
Banking stocks have gained the most in today's trading session as they have started a rate-cut war among themselves. After SBI, HDFC and Axis Bank; ICICI bank has now decided to slash its interest rates by 25 basis points (bps). Female borrowers and weaker sections of the society will have the deduction of 0.30% or 9.85%. However, normal borrowers will face an interest rate of 9.9%. According to the bank, borrowers opting for fixed home loans for 10 years over a sum of Rs 3 mn will be paying interest according to 9.9%. It may be noted that earlier this month, RBI kept the interest rates unchanged.