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After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian stock markets have continued to trade in the green. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the IT, auto and metal sectors leading the gains.
The BSE Sensex is trading up 175 points (up 0.6%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 57 points (up 0.7%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 1.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.9%. The rupee is trading at 66.73 to the US$.
As per a leading financial daily, the government has realised Rs 9 billion through the fourth tranche of its Sovereign Gold Bond scheme. This is recorded as the highest sum realised so far. The previous highest was recorded at Rs 7.5 billion, which was realised in the second tranche, when the issue price stood at Rs 2,600/gram of gold.
The latest subscription mobilized amounts through over 1.95 lakh applications and represented around 2.95 tonnes of gold. The issue price for this was fixed at Rs 3,119/gram of gold.
It is said that these numbers are likely to go up as receiving offices are keying in data for huge number of applications on the last day. The top five receiving offices were the State Bank of India (SBI), NSE, Bank of India (BOI), ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank. The total subscriptions in the first three tranches was Rs 13 billion corresponding to 4.9 tonnes of gold.
The SGB scheme was introduce in the Union Budget 2015-16 as an alternative to keeping physical gold. The aim of this scheme was to reduce demand for physical gold and in process reduce India's current account deficit (CAD). To improve attractiveness of the scheme, new features were introduced in the latest instalment, where the minimum subscription limit was brought down to 1 gram from 2 grams earlier.
As far as our views are concerned, the SGB scheme is a worthwhile proposition while taking exposure to gold. However, what one must also keep in mind is that there is no point having an over exposure to such schemes. One shall look at gold as a portfolio diversifier and a monetary asset (rather than a mere commodity), which can help in reducing risks to the overall portfolio with its trait of being a store of value in times of uncertainties. One of our editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp has shared some insights on the government's various gold schemes.
Also, while we are on the topic of gold, Asad Dossani, editor, Profit Hunter, has penned an article that illustrates how one can make money trading gold.
Moving on to global news, data released during the end of last week showed economy growth for the eurozone halved in the second quarter of 2016. GDP rose 0.3% between April and June. This was in line with expectations but below 0.6% growth witnessed in the first quarter.
Eurozone inflation rose 0.2% in July from 0.1% in June on the back of higher food, alcohol, and tobacco prices. The 19-nation single currency, however, moved away from deflation. France, the eurozone's second-largest economy, saw no growth after expanding 0.7% in the first quarter. Bill Bonner, writing recently from France, explains why that country is a mess.
The above figures are the first to be released since Brexit. The data pointed out that Brexit indeed had a far worse impact on the entire economy. If there is still room for further pain remains to be seen. In its latest update, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed the UK's growth forecasts and stated that Brexit has damaged the British economy's short-term prospects and thrown a spanner in the works of the global recovery.
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