Monday, March 5, 2012

Nifty Next Week

  • March cluttered with events-poll results, budget, RBI policy: This March has several key events like election results (March 6, 2012), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s policy review (March 15, 2012) and Union Budget (March 16, 2012) in addition to the usual liquidity pressure driven by the advance tax payment. The high turnout in the Uttar Pradesh elections and media surveys suggest a possible gain in vote share by Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress Party at the expense of the ruling Bhahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which could lead to an alliance of the Congress Party and SP at the state level and a possible extension of the same at the Centre. This would reduce the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s dependence on Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) and enable the government to push forward reforms. Though no fireworks are expected from the budget, the key triggers to watch out for are: a credible roadmap for fiscal consolidation and some definitive steps to boost the investment cycle.
  • Inflation and economic growth moderate sharply but firm crude prices cast a shadow on the trajectory of monetary easing by RBI: The sharp run-up of 17% to $125 per barrel in the crude oil prices since January this year, fuelled by the rising geopolitical tensions and easy liquidity conditions globally, has brought back the fears of its damaging impact on inflation and economic growth globally. India's dependence on imports for its crude oil needs and lack of reforms in its oil sector make it more vulnerable in such a scenario and could result in the reallocation of funds by foreign investors away from India to resource-rich countries (like Brazil, Russia, Indonesia) within the emerging markets. Moreover, the RBI could delay the much-awaited policy rate cuts in view of the inflationary pressure emanating from the rising crude oil prices.
  • Q3 earnings growth below expectations but pace of earnings downgrades slowing down: While the Q3FY2012 earnings growth was in low single digits, the revenue growth momentum remains strong driven by a healthy growth in volumes, better price realisation and a favourable currency. Since April 2011 the Sensex' earnings estimates have been downgraded by 7.5% and 14.8% for FY2012 and FY2013 respectively. But the pace of the earnings downgrades has slowed down considerably with a marked improvement in the earnings upgrades/downgrades ratio in the third quarter of FY2012. However, the revival in the corporate earnings upgrade cycle is possibly still a couple of quarters away and would depend on the RBI and the government's policies. 
  • Short covering blip behind us; fundamentals would come to fore again: The BSE small-cap index appreciated by 25% compared to the 14% upmove in the benchmark indices. The short covering in view of the surge in the market has resulted in more than 50% rise in many debt-laden high beta stocks. This has provided an opportunity to churn portfolios in favour of quality stocks, not necessarily from the defensive sectors. With the technical blip behind us, we expect the fundamentals to come to the fore again. 
  • Need policy push for further re-rating of multiples: After the recent run-up, the Sensex' valuations have expanded from around 12x to close to 14x FY2013 earnings estimate which is close to its long-term average multiple. The global scenario is much more conducive now with the injection of huge liquidity through the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) in Europe and improving economic data points in the USA. However, for the liquidity-driven rally to sustain, there is a need for domestic triggers in the form of adequate support from the government policies (in power, infrastructure, subsidy, foreign direct investment [FDI] etc) accompanied by monetary easing from the RBI. Our base case assumption is a likely consolidation phase around the current level before another leg of the rally unfolds
    Source: Sharekhan

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