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Indian Indices Open Flat
Wed, 17 Aug 09:30 am

Asian markets have opened their day on a mixed note. The Nikkei 225 is trading up 0.64% while the Hang Seng is trading up 0.23%. The Shanghai Composite is down by 0.19%.

Meanwhile, Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flat note. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 42 points and NSE-Nifty is trading higher by 12 points. Meanwhile, both S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. Sectoral indices opened on a mixed note with metal, auto and telecom stocks leading the gains. IT stocks are leading the losses. The rupee is trading at 66.92 against the US$.

In a major news for the domestic markets, wholesale price inflation accelerated more than expected in July and hovered near a two-year high. This was seen mainly on the back of rising food prices, which rose to double digits for the first time since December 2013.

Notably, the wholesale price index (WPI) nearly doubled and rose 3.55% from a year ago. This rise was as against a 1.62% rise witnessed in June. It was also higher than the expected 2.5% wholesale inflation.

Primary articles inflation rose 9.3% and manufactured product index grew 1.8%. On the other hand, fuels inflation fell 1%. Core inflation stood at 0.1% after 16 months of disinflation. Most of the increase was attributed to food inflation. Food inflation spiked to a 30-month high of 11.8%. This was seen as potatoes and pulses became dearer by 58% and 35.7%, respectively.

The sharp rise in cereals inflation at 7% was seen despite large government buffer stocks and a modest increase in minimum support prices. Some respite was seen as onion prices eased 36% last month. However, experts forecast a reversal here too. One must note that rising food prices remain one of the main causes of Inflation in India. In spite of this fact, the causes for food inflation haven't been resolved. The agriculture sector, despite its importance to the Indian economy, is largely untouched by change. There are many middlemen in the process of marketing. These middlemen have become monopoly buyers and are the real cause behind the food inflation that is witnessed every now and then in India. Vivek Kaul, editor, Vivek Kaul's Diary, has explained this issue in detail in one of his articles.

Regarding inflation in general, one of our editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp explains how buying solid stocks can help in beating inflation. Speaking of solid stocks, our premium report, Sensex 40,000: 4 Stocks to Profit from the Coming Stock Market Wave, is still available. The report explains the undercurrent driving the market that 90% of the market participants are currently ignoring.

In another news update, there will be a consolidation of more banks, which will begin from next fiscal. This we say as Banks Board Bureau chief Vinod Rai stated that the consolidation of more banks may begin from next fiscal as the priority today is to unlock the jammed lending system with the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) sitting over the balance sheets of banking institutions.

Rai further stated that it has been decided to remove NPAs from banks balance sheets by this fiscal end. It was noted that from today till may be December 31, or may be on the outer side by March 31, the process of removing stress from the balance sheets of those banks will end.

One must note that the government is seeking to push consolidation among state-run banks (PSUs). Also, some state-run banks have evinced their interest to take on smaller entities. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier this year, said that the bankers' themselves have supported the proposal of consolidation of banks in order to have strong banks rather than having a numerically large number of banks.

However, does it really make sense to consolidate banks? Why are these banks willing to consolidate their operations? Will this be a successful move knowing that many public sector banks are facing huge bad loan problems? Vivek Kaul answers all of these questions in one of his articles from the Vivek Kaul's Diary. He is of the opinion that the merger of two public sector banks, will give us a bigger inefficient bank.

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

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