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Sensex Opens Firm; Wipro & Coal India Top Gainers
Fri, 13 Jul 09:30 am | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Asian share markets are higher today as Japanese and Hong Kong shares show gains. The Nikkei 225 is up 1.3% while the Hang Seng is up 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite is trading down by 0.1%. US stocks climbed on Thursday as top technology names hit record highs and industrials rebounded from losses driven by trade worries the day before.

Back home, India share markets opened the day on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading up by 127 points while the NSE Nifty is trading up by 29 points. The BSE Mid Cap index opened up by 0.1% while BSE Small Cap index opened down by 0.1%.

The rupee is currently trading at 68.63 to the US$.

Sectoral indices opened the day on a mixed note with IT stocks and metal stocks witnessing maximum buying interest. While, realty stocks & PSU stocks opened the day in red.

In the news from the economy. The retail inflation in June rose to 5%, a five-month high, despite easing food prices.

Meanwhile, the industrial production (IIP) growth slipped to a seven-month low of 3.2% in May mainly due sluggish performance of manufacturing and power sectors coupled with poor offtake of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Manufacturing, which contributes 78% of industrial output, grew 2.8% in May, slower than a 5.2% rise in April, as domestic demand slowed.

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A rising inflation and declining industrial production is not a good news for the economy.

The retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 4.87% in May. It was 1.46% in June 2017. The earlier high was in January this year at 5.07%.

The inflation in the food basket was 2.91%, compared to 3.1% in May. The inflation in fuel and light category, however, went up to 7.14% as against 5.8% in May. The government has mandated the RBI to keep inflation at 4%, with a margin of 2% on either side.

The RBI governor headed Monetary Policy Committee will be meeting later this month to review interest rate regime.

Note that, consumer prices are under pressure due to both domestic and global factors.

Global factors are crude prices and a depreciating rupee. Crude prices in June were about 60% higher than the same month a year before.

Domestic pressures are largely from the demand side, which is getting reflected in core inflation that printed at 6% (excluding food, fuel, light and petrol) in June.

Speaking of the recent weakness in the rupee versus the US dollar, it indicates further trouble for the market ahead.

As seen from the below chart, when the Sensex corrected to its multi-year lows in March 2009, the rupee had also weakened by 21% in the past 9 months. Similarly, when Sensex hit an all-time high in January 2018, the rupee had been gradually strengthening over the past year.

Change in the Rupee and Sensex in the Past 10 Years

Post January, the rupee has been on a constant decline versus the dollar.

Increase in US bond yields has made it attractive for foreign investors. This has resulted in capital outflows from the Indian market. Past history has shown that any further weakening of the rupee will adversely impact the market.

But for investors, is it a matter of concern?

Our Research Analyst, Girish Shetty believes, if you have a horizon of 10 or more years, it shouldn't. As we can see from the chart, despite the rupee weakening by over 60% in the past decade, Sensex has also been up in the same period.

Moving on to the news from finance sector. As per an article in a leading financial daily, Avendus Capital, controlled by US private equity giant KKR, emerged as the surprise frontrunner to acquire the mutual fund business of IDFC.

A flurry of fund flows into broader markets and increased public interest in mutual funds have sparked the interest of global investors in India's Rs 23 trillion asset management industry.

Avendus and KKR have made an offer of Rs 30-40 billion and are in exclusive negotiations with IDFC, the reports noted.

Meanwhile, other contenders such as IndusInd Bank and Reliance Nippon Asset Management have backed out.

The transaction, if successful, could mark the entry of a global private equity investor into India's 42-member strong mutual fund industry. It would also be the biggest buyout of a mutual fund business in the country.

Reportedly, there is strong interest in IDFC AMC as it has established schemes with a longstanding track record, has a sound fund management team and a strong relationship with distributors.

IDFC share price opened the day up by 0.2%.

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