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After opening the day on a positive note, the Indian stock markets have added to their early gains. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the realty and auto sectors leading the gains.
The BSE Sensex is trading up 186 points (up 0.7%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 60 points (up 0.7%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.8%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.9%. The rupee is trading at 67.08 to the US$.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its latest annual report, stated that inflation was running at the upper end of its forecast and that further rate cuts could happen only if inflation falls in the near future. As per an article in the Economic Times, the outgoing RBI governor Raghuram Rajan suggested that the need for keeping real rates high for savers and borrowing costs low for borrowers meant only a fall in inflation could strengthen the case for a rate cut.
The governor also offered a precise response on a key demand raised by the Union commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week that the RBI should go for nothing less than a 200 basis point rate cut in its monetary policy. This, as per the minister would translate to lower borrowing costs to tiny entrepreneurs. However, responding to this Raghuram Rajan said that the willingness of banks to cut lending rates is muted. Not only does weak corporate investment reduce the volume of new profitable loans, their stressed assets have tightened capital positions, which may prevent them from lending freely. He further stated that the reluctance to lend to industry and small businesses is more visible among the more stressed public sector banks compared to the private sector banks. Being on the topic, one of the recent articles from Vivek Kaul's Diary explains why Sitharaman's prescription for a 200 basis point rate cut would be disastrous for the Indian economy.
All of this come just days before Dr Rajan retires as RBI governor. Speculation over who would don the mantle of next RBI governor came to rest after the Modi government recently appointed Urjit Patel as the 24th governor of the RBI. Patel, who is currently deputy governor at the RBI, will take over the top job from Raghuram Rajan on September 4, 2016.
Ministers and top bureaucrats expect Urjit Patel to maintain a balance between inflation and growth. He is expected to use his experience of handling monetary policy at the RBI to deliver on this front.
That said, challenges remain. The biggest of all is inflation. Vivek Kaul recently explained what we can expect from the new RBI governor. He stressed that, with inflation levels at nearly a two-year high, it is important to continue to contain inflation. In a slightly different vein, Richa Agarwal, Research Analyst at Equitymaster, offered some questions that lie ahead for Urjit Patel's mandate.
Moving on to the news from the global markets... Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), recently stated that the BoJ is ready to pull out all the stops in order to bring inflation back in the Japanese economy. This marks Kuroda's yet another move which signals that the BOJ's negative rate policy has not reached its limit.
Last week, Kuroda said the central bank will not rule out deepening the negative rates it introduced in February. He further stated that the BOJ would consider changing its massive 80-trillion yen per year asset-purchase plan once the comprehensive assessment of its monetary policies is out in September.The BOJ first introduced negative interest rates early this year. It stunned markets in January when it set a minus 0.1% rate on some deposits that banks place at the central bank. The move was introduced on hopes that it would encourage banks to lend more and thereby spur spending and inflation. However, there has been no sign of this working yet.
The above announcements from BOJ coupled with the Fed's stance on the pace of US interest rate hikes have fueled most of the volatility in global markets.
And the question comes as: How can one avoid capital loss amid such volatility? Answer: Don't fight easy money. To learn how, you can read recent articles from Apurva Sheth who is editor at Daily Profit Hunter - one highlighting some trading principles from Warren Buffett and another explaining how traders can measure their trading performance.
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