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Banking Stocks Lead the Gains
Mon, 9 May 01:30 pm

After opening the day firm, the Indian stock markets have continued to trade on a positive note in the post-noon trading session. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the banking, FMCG and capital goods sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 334 points (up 1.3%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 98 points (up 1.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.9%. The rupee is trading at 66.48 to the US$.

In the commodity markets, silver, per kilogram is trading at Rs 41,389 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,016 per barrel.

Gold is witnessing selling pressure. At the time of writing, gold was trading lower by nearly 1% at Rs 30,078/10 grams. One shall note that last week, gold was set to post its biggest weekly decline in six weeks. This was seen after the dollar firmed ahead of the US non-farm payrolls report. A recent article form Vivek Kaul's Diary titled 'Has Gold Entered a New Bull Market?' shares some interesting insights on the movements in gold prices.

To keep a regular tab on the movements in gold prices, you can read weekly market commentary from the Daily Profit Hunter team. Their weekly commentary tracks the developments in the global economy as well as equity, currency and commodity markets.

As per a leading financial daily, China's forex reserves grew for the second straight month in April. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) stated that the world's largest stockpile of foreign currency increased by US$7.09 billion last month, to US$3.220 trillion. The uptick was primarily seen on the back of a softened dollar.

Further, trade data showed China's exports grew 4.1% (YoY) in yuan terms. This was seen on the back of the depreciation of the yuan. Also, imports declined 11% YoY.

On the flipside, activity at China's factories shrank for the 14th straight month in April. This was seen as demand stagnated and forced companies to shed jobs at a faster pace.

The Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) fell to 49.4 last month. This was below market expectations of 49.9 and as against 49.7 recorded in the month of March. Output declined into the negative territory with a reading of 49.9. This was as against March's reading of 50.4. Further, employment levels fell for the 30th month in a row. As per a leading financial daily, Chinese firms that reported reduced staff numbers cited company down-sizing policies and the non-replacement of workers who left voluntarily.

All of these above data added further concerns about the growth in the world's second-largest economy.

We believe China needs to do a lot better to come out of the ongoing slowdown phase. Sluggish demand and excess capacity are threatening to slow down China's economic engine, which had been growing at a frenzied pace in the past. And lack of transparency in the government and banking entities in China have made it difficult to decipher the reasons for the grown decline.

The need of the hour is to have more credible and trustworthy reports on economic developments. And that is where Nitin Gregory fills the gap. Nitin is a new writer at Equitymaster, currently based in China and taking a very close look at some of the key economic and competitive factors that we'd otherwise not have access to. In his latest article, he gives his on-the-ground outlook at what drives the real estate in China and how will it fare in the short term as well as the long term.

Speaking of real estate, Rahul Shah, Equitymaster co-head of research, says stocks can crush real estate over the next three-to-five years.

Moving on to the news from cement sector. UltraTech Cement's board has approved proposal for increase in investment limits by RFPIs (Registered Foreign Portfolio Investors) from the existing 24% of the paid-up equity share capital up to 30% of the paid-up equity share capital of the company.

The said increase in the limits is subject to the approval of the members at the ensuing Annual General Meeting of the company to be held in July, 2016.

UltraTech Cement is the largest cement company in India and amongst the leading producers of cement globally. It is also the largest manufacturer of white cement and ready mix concrete (RMC) in India. To know our view on the stock of the company, you can read our result analysis report (subscription required).

Presently the stock of UltraTech Cement is trading up by 1.8%.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

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