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Listless Gains for Indian Indices
Wed, 7 Sep 11:30 am

After opening the day on a flat note, the Indian stock markets have continued to trade near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the realty and metal sectors leading the gains. Telecom and oil & gas stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 36 points (up 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 7 points (up 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.6%. The rupee is trading at 66.33 to the US$.

Mark Mobius, executive chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group at Franklin Templeton Investments has said that India is in a takeoff stage and is growing faster than China. The fund manager, in an interview with the Economic Times, also stated that valuations of Indian markets are not looking expensive amid the low interest rate environment.

He also shared his views on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. When asked about what has changed for Indian markets after the passage of the GST Bill, Marc said that the real challenge that remains now is the implementation of GST. While addressing this he said that the real focus now should be on implementing the GST.

As far as our views are concerned, India still needs to improve in many areas. While it is in a takeoff stage and is the fastest growing economy, there are structural changes required in many areas. Vivek Kaul, editor of the Vivek Kaul's Diary, had written many articles on the sorry state of India's economy. He has also just launched the Vivek Kaul Letter which outlines the Indian economy and its challenges.

On the GST front, we believe that while the bill has been approved by most of the leading parties and states, the tax is far from a done deal. The GST council, a very important part of the process, will need to be set up. It will be the job of the council, which will be two-thirds represented by the states, to decide on the GST rate after which three GST Bills (Central GST, Integrated GST, and State GST) mentioning the actual rates will be sent to Parliament and state assemblies for approval. To know more about GST, please read Vivek Kaul's report titled GST & You: What the Media DID NOT TELL YOU About the GST.

Moving on to the news from global markets... Economists are of the view that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is highly likely to lengthen quantitative easing (QE) for the second time. This is gauged by many participants as the euro-area inflation has been stuck near zero for almost two years and the Brexit has threatened the recovery of the European Union (EU).

A leading financial daily suggests that more than 80% of economists in a Bloomberg survey expect such a decision. If Draghi does so, the move would take the asset-buying programme beyond its current-end date of March 2017 and above the target of 1.7 trillion euros.

The European Central Bank, earlier in December, announced stimulus measures and cut its deposit rate into negative territory. The governing council of the bank decided that the interest rate on the deposit facility will be decreased by 10 basis points to -0.30%, with effect from 9 December 2015. Mario Draghi announced that the ECB would extend its asset purchase program until March 2017.

We've written about the effects of low interest rates and central bank policies many times before. Bill Bonner, for instance, recently explained what it takes to survive in an era of low interest rates. And an article from Vivek Kaul's Diary - God, Government, and YOU - offers two theories and explains how they influence policies of central bankers and economists.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)