Most of the equity markets around the world have recouped losses arising from the fallout of the terror attacks in Belgium and are trading positive in the week so far. In the Indian markets, the trading week has been truncated on 23rd March on account of holidays due to the upcoming Holi and Good Friday festivals. The Japanese market has been the biggest gainer on the back of the weak yen that lent support to exports. India and China were the other Asian indices that have logged positive gains till now.
Barring France, all the European indices have recovered from the pessimism that had pulled down markets earlier. Even the US market recorded a marginal fall in return.
Indian stock markets have firmed up during the week after the cut in interest rates on small savings schemes have fueled expectation of a reduction in lending rates by banks. This has also rekindled hopes that RBI would be slashing rates in its policy review on 5th April 2016. BSE Sensex ended the week up by 1.5%.
All sectoral indices ended in the green for the week. Buying interest was witnessed in realty, auto and metal stocks.
India's current account deficit (CAD) as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP) reduced to 1.3% in the December 2015 quarter as compared to 1.5% in the corresponding year-ago period. For the nine-month period April-December 2015, the CAD narrowed down to 1.4% of the GDP as compared to 1.7% in the corresponding year-ago period. This contraction comes on the back of fall in the country's trade deficit in line with low global commodity prices.
The finance and steel ministries are working towards preparing a financial package to revive the steel sector. The options being explored are equity infusion into these companies by external or international investors. Last month, the government had announced a minimum import price on 173 steel products for six months in order to shield the industry from large scale dumping of cheap Chinese goods.
Now let us move on to some of the key corporate developments in the week gone by.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has set a target to achieve a fivefold jump in annual turnover from the powertrain segment to US$1 billion over the next six years. For this the company would focus on high-capacity gensets and full-fledged engines. The company will be developing gensets with a capacity to generate 125 KV to 1 MW in the coming years. Moreover, the company has also secured the rights, from former commercial vehicle partner Navistar, for the manufacture of 9.3-litre diesel engine. This engine is likely to be used in high-powered gensets and big mining trucks.
Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement with American Tower Corporation to sell around 1,350 towers in Tanzania. The deal is pegged at around US$ 179 million. Reportedly, this is the ninth African country where Bharti has executed such a deal after it purchased Kuwait-based Zain's Africa assets across 17 countries.
Dabur India has been aggressively promoting its ayurvedic cough syrup, Dabur Honitus. Recently, the company published an article stating the virtues and positives of using its cough syrup. This product is being positioned as an alternative to other cough syrups, many of which have been banned by the government recently. The ban is an outcome of a clampdown on fixed dose combination drugs. By publishing the article, Dabur wants to capitalize on the ban and increase its market share.
Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has commissioned the second 270 MW coal-based thermal generating unit at the same site in the state of Punjab within one month of the successful commissioning of the first unit. The unit has been commissioned at the 2x270 MW Goindwal Sahib coal-fired Thermal Power Project of GVK Power & Infra (GVKPIL), located in Goindwal Sahib in Tarn Taran district.
And here's an update from our friends at Daily Profit Hunter...
The index finally broke out above 7,600 levels on Monday after two-week long consolidation. This breakout has given bulls an advantage over the bears as 7,600 will now act as a cushion for them in the next few days. However, the ride won't be as smooth as it has been so far. The bulls will have to face supply pressure near higher levels of 7,800.