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Moneycontrol Pro Panorama | What’s spooking equity investors? 

In today’s edition of Moneycontrol Pro Panorama: MPC signals rate hike cycle not yet over, companies benefit from lower tax, money laundering law needs pruning, will ed-tech make a comeback, and more

February 09, 2023 / 02:27 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Dear Reader, 

The Panorama newsletter is sent to Moneycontrol Pro subscribers on market days. It offers easy access to stories published on Moneycontrol Pro and gives a little extra by setting out a context or an event or trend that investors should keep track of. 
In its latest meet, the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee delivered a rate hike along expected lines as did central banks across the world. Growth and inflation too seem to be meeting forecasts and comforting investors. Moreover, the recent December quarter results show an improved earnings trajectory. In spite of this, India’s equity benchmark Nifty 50 is up by less than 2 per cent from its year-ago level.

What’s spooking investors? Stability on domestic terrain is perhaps masked by overseas developments. A tighter-than-desirable labour market in the US could mean more tightening and more rate hikes there. This, in turn, can adversely impact capital flows into emerging markets (EMs).

Another concern is whether China’s recovery will impact foreign portfolio flows into Indian equities. To be sure, economists are united in their view that China’s recovery after reopening of its economy has come earlier and faster than expected. Not just manufacturing, even household consumption and services are improving as fears of COVID resurgence have receded. This FT article (free for MCPro subscribers) explains why global investors snapped up a record $21 billion worth of Chinese equities this year. The country’s benchmark CSI 300 index of its biggest companies has risen more than 13 per cent since the end of October, states the report.

However, China’s growth alone is not the only reason why Indian equities are still jittery. In this exclusive interview with MC Pro, Venugopal Garre, managing director at Bernstein, says that high valuations become a key stumbling block for more inflows and India sports some of the highest valuation companies in the world, even relative to the growth on offer.

Meanwhile, assuming growth is on track as underscored by the latest RBI’s policy meet commentary, some shadows of inflation still loom over the domestic economy. The Monetary Policy Committee said, “Headline inflation, excluding vegetables, has been rising well above the upper tolerance band and may remain elevated, especially with high core inflation pressures. Inflation, therefore, remains a major risk to the outlook.” Read this article to understand how far past rate hikes have helped in taming inflation.

If inflation continues to rule above the central banks' tolerance limit, then further rates cannot be ruled out. Garre points out that our rate cycle is a function of inflation and what the US does. “We consider 7 per cent as the peak for repo rate in this cycle,” he says, given that it is now at 6.5 per cent. Certainly, this means higher cost of funds, besides other ongoing cost pressures from supply chain disruptions and commodity prices that are not yet firmly behind us. These factors certainly weigh down investor sentiment.

Investing insights from our research team

Hero MotoCorp Q3 FY23 — In-line set of numbers amid weak demand

Safari Q3 FY23 — Why this stock will continue to outperform

Cement sector: Supply glut, global macros could hurt ongoing business momentum

Navin Fluorine: Keep this quality chemical business on radar during downcycle

Mrs Bectors Food Specialities: Stellar earnings, huge growth runway

What else are we reading?

MPC's signal: Tightening cycle is not over yet

Are businesses poised for capex? What the RBI surveys say

Companies are paying less tax, then why is the government happy?

Startup Street: Is ed-tech dead or will it make a comeback?

FTA fetish — Are we on the right track?

Money laundering law’s wide powers and scope need pruning

‘Sam? Are you there?!’ The bizarre and brutal final hours of FTX (republished from the FT)

Technical Picks: Intellect DesignCastor seedCoromandel InternationalHindalco Industries and USD-INR (These are published every trading day before markets open and can be read on the app)

Vatsala KamatMoneycontrol Pro 

Vatsala Kamat