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Sensex Remain Flat; ICICI Bank Continues Momentum
Mon, 24 Oct 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 banking stocks and energy stocks witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 42 points (up 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 5 points (up 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.2%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.6%. The rupee is trading at 66.88 to the US$.

When it comes to commodities, our love for gold is as old as Indian civilization itself. And the upcoming festive season is again going to spur the demand for yellow-metal. Along with this, the sixth tranche of the sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme is set to open today. Subscription will remain open through to 02 November 2016.

With this issue of the SGB, the government has decided to offer a discount of Rs 50 per gram and the bonds will be offered at Rs 2,957 per gram. This is recorded as the lowest price for SGB's so far this year. the yearly interest payable is down to 2.5% from 2.75% that was seen in the previous five tranches. The tenure of bonds will be for eight years, with an exit option from the fifth year.

The SGB scheme was introduce in the Union Budget 2015-16 as an alternative to keeping physical gold. The aim of this scheme is to reduce demand for physical gold and in process reduce India's current account deficit (CAD).

In our view, 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 to the news from global financial markets, all eyes are set on the third-quarter growth figures from the United States and Britain that are going to be released this week.

Disappointing growth in the US would make it less likely the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December. Also, disappointing set of data for Britain will lead to increased volatility in the financial markets during the week.

As per the Fed Minutes released early this month, Fed officials largely reinforced market expectations of a rate hike in December, after the US presidential election.

The Federal Reserve has two more policy meetings this year, one in early November and a second in mid-December. In their economic projections released last month, 14 of 17 Fed officials indicated they expected to raise rates before the end of this year.

We believe investors must be prepared to witness increasing volatility in the stock markets. Apart from the developments in the global economy, several domestic factors are likely to influence the course of the stock markets in the coming times.

Our message to investors is to not fear volatility and uncertainty. Instead, use it to your advantage as increased volatility could throw up bargain buying opportunities.

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

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Nov 24, 2017 (Close)