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The global backdrop turned challenging in January especially with the US Fed commencing QE taper. The Fed announced another round of tapering effectively reducing the overall QE purchases to $65 bn per month. US data continued to be a mixed bag with manufacturing numbers and GDP growth showing strength, while job additions were meager. China growth data disappointed causing some ripples across global markets. Risk aversion returned to markets as EM economies like Turkey and Argentina witnessed sharp currency weakening and foreign fund outflows. Safe haven buying led to treasury yields in the US and Germany shift down considerably. Back home manufacturing activity remained sluggish while inflation took a turn for the better.
Nifty fell 3.4% over the month. Contrary to market expectations RBI decided to hike policy rates on the basis of the discomfort emerging from relentless core inflation. November IIP disappointed and declined by 2.1%. Sectoral performance was indicative of a challenging domestic economic scenario. Export oriented sectors like IT services and Pharma outperformed Banking, Auto were amongst underperforming sectors. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were buyers of around US$ 125 mn over the month. Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) were sellers of around US$ 138 mn in January.
Fixed income market started the new year on a positive note with expectations of lower inflation numbers, positive market sentiment due to the deferment of the weekly auction and the raised expectations that the RBI will maintain status quo in the scheduled monetary policy review. As a result, the 10 year benchmark yield touched its low of 8.52 % during the month. The WPI for December eased to 6.16% compared to 7.52% in November due to fall in food inflation. On the other hand, December CPI inflation print came at 9.87% yoy from 11.2% in November due to sharp fall in vegetable prices. RBI released the Urjit Patel Committee Report to revise and strengthen the monetary policy framework. Following that RBI hiked the repo rate by 25 bps to 8% during review of quarterly monetary policy. The market was also adversely impacted with US Fed decided to taper its monthly bond purchases by USD 10 bn to USD 65 bn. The 10 year benchmark G-sec closed at 8.79% vs 8.83% at December end. The corporate bond spreads remained range bound due to limited supply. The USD/INR remained largely range bound during the month before closing at Rs. 62.68.
Aggregate AUM of Max Life Insurance Co Ltd crossed 20K crores as at 31 Dec 2012 registering a growth of 31% over the year.
Investment newsletter - June 2013
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