Selling pressure that started making its presence felt in the second half of the day, intensified during the closing hours, resulting in the indices ending deep in the red today. While BSE Sensex edged lower by around 340 points (down 2%), NSE Nifty closed around 100 points lower (down 2%). BSE Midcap and Small cap indices were not spared either, as they lost around 1.5% and 1% each. Banking heavyweights exerted the maximum selling pressure on the indices. Advance to decline on the Sensex was overwhelmingly in favour of the latter, with nearly 7 stocks declining for every 1 that gained.
Amongst Asian indices, while most of them ended the day deep in the red, European indices are also trading weak currently. The rupee was seen poised at Rs 46.5 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Today's decline has once again taken the Sensex to sub 17,000 levels. It's now been almost two months since the index has been trying to break away from the 17,000 levels and go higher. But to no avail. Every time the index manages to go above 17,000, it is being pulled back. In other words, there seems to be a strong resistance for the markets to go significantly higher from the current levels, at least in the near term. It will now require some really strong change in the fundamentals of India Inc or in the global economy to take the markets to the next level and help them stay there.
While markets could also be taken higher on account of excess liquidity, but if it is not accompanied by an increase in fundamentals, the rise could well be short lived. Hence, the temptation to make that quick buck has to be avoided. Please bear in mind that in an effort to increase the return on money, investors should not put themselves in a situation where they have to forego the return of their money.
Investors who believe that the concept of 'ghost employees' is restricted to a company with a fraudulent management like Satyam alone, need to brace themselves for a shock. In a startling revelation, the mayor of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has stated that the organization has more than 20,000 ghost employees. The civic body has 104,241 'genuine' employees, while the records show the numbers at 127,094. Further, the salaries for the missing workers have cost taxpayers up to nearly US$ 43 m a year. The gap was discovered after the authorities introduced a biometric system of recording attendance.
The textile sector that is finding few buyers for its exported wares is expected to compromise further on operating margins. This is because besides the pricing pressure, higher input costs is leaving the players with little on the table. The steep rise in cotton prices is only making things more difficult. With lower production in China and higher import demand from the largest textile manufacturing economy, global cotton prices have risen nearly 40% over the past 12 months. With the Indian government not willing to impose a quota on cotton exports, it is unlikely that Indian textile manufacturers will see their costs easing. Stocks from the sector including Raymond and Arvind are trading lower.