Weakness in equity markets of India persisted right till the end and as a consequence, both the indices closed significantly in the red. While Sensex today edged lower by around 147 points, decline on the NSE-Nifty stood at around 46 points (down 0.8%). BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices also closed lower. Around 2 stocks closed lower for every 1 that gained on the Sensex.
Asian markets closed lower today with Europe too trading in the negative currently. The rupee was place at Rs 54.3 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Today was yet another day of profit booking against the backdrop of the Sensex witnessing some robust gains in the past few trading sessions. The fact that there was some political turmoil at the centre also added to the pressure. On the positive side though there was the decline in crude price which bodes well for the country's fiscal deficit. We believe the direction from here on will be determined by how seriously the Government carries forward its good work on reforms and also on the movement of important commodities like crude oil. Having said that, fundamentally good stocks run by strong management teams can still be bought provided one is willing to hold them for the long term and they are available at cheap enough valuations.
IT heavyweights like TCS, Infosys and Wipro all closed strong today. The gains could be attributed to a renewed weakness in the rupee following the political drama that is unfolding in the capital city of New Delhi. Last heard it was trading at Rs 54.3, weaker by close to 30 paise from its previous level of Rs 54 earlier this week. Furthermore, expectations of improved economic outlook in the US following the latest Fed stimulus is also playing on the minds of investors perhaps. Longer term though, both the direction of the Indian rupee as well as the state of US economy does not look all that positive and we believe the Indian IT companies will have to rely on their own strengths if they are to keep adding to shareholder value.
ONGC, India's largest oil exploration company is planning to increase production of gas by more than 7 million standard cubic meters per day over the next two years in order to bridge the demand supply gap in the country. More than 80% of the incremental output will come in the financial year FY14. The North Tapti field off the west coast as well as couple of fields in the Bay of Bengal will be used for the incremental production. The stock closed higher by around 1% today.