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Sensex Continues Uptrend; IT Stocks Witness Buying
Tue, 11 Jul 01:30 pm

After opening the day marginally higher, stock markets in India have continued their momentum. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks in the auto sector and IT sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 135 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 51 points (up 0.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading flat, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 64.53 to the US$.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the seasonal monsoon rains have covered most of India and the amount of precipitation so far is within expectations. It also noted that normal rainfall has raised hopes for higher farm output after increased sowing of rice and soybean crops.

As per the IMD, cumulative monsoon rains have been 2% below average since the beginning of the rainy season in June until July 9.

However, recent rains have been heavier, as in the week to July 5, the seasonal showers were 21% above average.

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Last month, the IMD raised its monsoon forecast by 2% to 98% of the long-term average.

One shall note that a normal monsoon is critical to India since most of the farmers are still dependent on monsoon rains for their subsistence.

The rural economy has witnessed two consecutive draughts like situation in the past few years and monsoon has been above normal only once since 2012, as can be seen from the chart below:

Monsoon Has Been Above Normal Only Once Since 2012

So the normal rainfall this year bodes well for the Indian economy and will certainly aid many sectors. Having said that, the above trend is certainly not something to speculate on while buying stocks.

In other news, as per an article in the Economic Times, the government has increased import duty on sugar to 50%.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs notified that import duty on raw sugar, refined or white sugar that is imported by bulk consumers will increase from the present 40% to 50% with immediate effect. No end date was specified for the duty increase.

The development comes as a measure to curb dumping of the commodity in India as international prices fell. It will also keep prices of sugar under control in domestic markets.

With this move, the sugar industry seeks to prevent a build-up of arrears in payments to sugar cane farmers in the next season starting October 2017.

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Feb 23, 2018 (Close)