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Indian Indices Trade on a Positive Note; Telecom Stocks Witness Buying
Fri, 2 Jun 11:30 am

Stock markets in India have continued their momentum and are presently trading on a positive note. Sectoral indices are trading in the green with stocks in the telecom sector and healthcare sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 119 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 32 points (up 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.6%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 64.42 to the US$.

In other news, manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in May compared to the previous month.

This comes as the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a three-month low of 51.6 in May from 52.5 in April.

As per the data, an upturn in new business supported the output growth. However, the rates of increase eased and there was seen a renewed decline in new export orders as international demand for goods manufactured in India deteriorated in May.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) measures expansion or contraction in business activity. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

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The slowdown in manufacturing is evident from the above data. Most of the fall here has also been contributed by the government's notebandi exercise.

We believe this trend may persist in the short term. However, as long as the government sticks to its reform agenda, the future is bright for the manufacturing sector. In the short term, the markets could present good opportunities for long term investors to pick up stocks in this space.

In other news, as per an article in the Economic Times, work has started on the next base revision of the gross domestic product (GDP) series that will most likely take fiscal year 2017-18 as the base.

The new series of national accounts, with revised base year of 2011-12 from the earlier base of 2004-05, began around two years ago, in January 2015. Before that, the base year of national accounts was revised in January 2010.

In 2015, the Government came up with a new methodology to calculate GDP. This exercise did little to change things on ground level. However, it did help the Government's report card look good. The GDP growth numbers as per new calculation were higher than as reflected by earlier method. Even RBI had trouble digesting this artificially inflated performance.

Cut to 2017, something similar happened to inflation data (WPI) and industrial production data (IIP). The Government has launched an updated series for both. And the new numbers suggest better factory output growth and lower price pressure as compared to old numbers, as one can see from the chart below:

New WPI Series Paints a Rosier Picture

Keeping the above things in mind, one shall take the macro economic data with a pinch of salt. For those investing based on macro clues, these are times to be a little skeptical.

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Feb 23, 2018 (Close)