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1800 200 5577
1800 180 5577
During March there was a sense of trepidation that Fed tightening is imminent plus fears of escalation in the Middle East conflict zones. Saudi Arabia launched an attack in Yemen that flared up tensions and sent crude prices sharply up. The FOMC withdrew its forward guidance, dropping “patient” from its statement, opening up the possibility of rate hikes in meeting starting in June. Even as the Fed change in view was widely expected by investors, the combined of the FED change in stance and geopolitical tensions impacted the market. US retail sales unexpectedly fell in February, contracting 0.6% against a consensus forecast of +0.3%, after contracting 0.8% in January. At home, RBI cut the benchmark rate by 25 bps acknowledging the lower inflation trajectory and improved Government finances.
Indian equities were down 4.6% in March. In the parliament’s budget session we witnessed bills - increased FDI limits in Insurance, Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill and Coal bill getting approved. The land acquisition bill was approved in the Lok Sabha and it’s expected to be debated in the upper house in the next session. Pharma stocks outperformed the market this month whereas Metals, Real Estate and Banking sectors underperformed. FIIs were buyers of Indian Equities to the tune of $1.6bn in the month of March. DIIs turned marginal sellers over the month led by insurance companies.
RBI surprised the financial markets in March by cutting policy rates by 25 basis points in an out of scheduled review rate cut. RBI kept its forward guidance largely unchanged with further easing being data dependent and continuing progress of fiscal consolidation.
Headline CPI inched up marginally to 5.37% in Feb as compared to 5.2% in Jan. The pickup in inflation was largely due to adverse base effect as the sequential M-o-M increase was muted at 0.2%. Food price remained flat and core inflation slowed marginally to 3.9% reflecting subdued demand pressure. However the fuel component was a key driver, rising 4.7% from 3.8%. Meanwhile, WPI dropped further to -2% from the -0.4% print last month. The fall was widespread across primary, fuel and manufactured products. Similar to the deceleration seen in core CPI to 3.9% in Feb, core WPI moderated to 0.1%YoY.
Govt. bond prices ended lower in the month, with the yield of the 10-year benchmark paper ending at 7.74% on 31 March 2015 compared with 7.73 on 28 Feb 2014. Corporate Bonds outperformed the Government securities backed by strong FPI inflows as FPI limit in Government security is already exhausted. INR weakened around 1% for the month and closed at 62.50 on 31 March 2015 vs 61.83 on 28 Feb 2015 because of overall dollar strengthening.
Our aggregate Traditional portfolio witnessed a growth of 34.51%, and overall portfolio grew by 25% over the last one year till June 2014
Investment newsletter - March 2015
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