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Listless Gains for Indian Indices
Thu, 8 Sep 11:30 am

After opening the day marginally lower, the Indian stock markets registered some gains but continued to trade near the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the realty and telecom sectors leading the gains. IT stocks are trading in the red.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 35 points (up 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 4 points (up 0.04%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading flat, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.7%. The rupee is trading at 66.44 to the US$.

As per an article in the Economic Times, the gold industry is expecting the rally in the gold price to continue in the coming months. The chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation said that gold is in a bullish phase now and may touch Rs 32,000/10 gm by Diwali.

The industry stated that demand all over India in September is up 30% compared to that a year ago. Further, it was noted that India is expected to import 750-850 tonnes of gold this year.

The only concern for gold is the Fed rate hike. However, analysts are of the view that things can work out in favor of gold even with a rate hike. This, they say, is because of the depreciation in the rupee as the demand for dollar would rise in the event of a rate hike and in turn would increase the landed price of gold.

Of late, gold is witnessing buying interest in the global markets. As per the World Gold Council (WGC), gold had its best first half of the year - up 25% in US dollar terms. The metal is also seen as a buying opportunity in India after the WGC stated that the demand for yellow metal will rise in the second half of 2016.

Gold has been favoured recently for many reasons. Participants in the global markets are increasing their exposure to gold as a safe haven bet against the ongoing global volatility. Also, many of the world's most intelligent and successful investors have recommended owning gold. The list includes David Einhorn, Seth Klarman, George Soros, and Stanley Druckenmiller.

A mainstay on that list is noted investor Marc Faber. In an interview with The Economic Times, Marc Faber stated that he still is bullish on gold over other asset classes. He also shared his views on Indian markets and explained why he would rather invest in India than in the US. One of the editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp details Mr Faber's views on India.

The question is this: Should one increase his exposure towards gold? Will the rising demand push prices higher ahead?

We think that is perhaps too speculative a call to take. While the above projections may stimulate more interest in gold, too many variables influence gold prices.

We recommend our readers to have a little exposure to gold as an insurance against any unexpected global economic turmoil. At the same time, we will continue to weigh the potential returns from the Sensex versus the yellow metal.

In another news update, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government will press ahead with tax reforms, repairing the banking system and getting stalled infrastructure projects moving to drive growth.

However, he said that the government is not yet ready to sell off its stake in banks. Jaitley said that there is no public or political opinion converged to the point where the government can think of the privatization in the banking sector.

Lastly, when asked about his top economic policy priorities, Jaitley said that he is determined to stick to a very stiff schedule that foresees passing critical enabling legislation for a new Goods and Services Tax (GST) this autumn.

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