Posts Tagged ‘Investment’

Weekly Update 18th – 22nd October 2010

Most of the world markets rallied in the week gone by on the buzz of further quantitative easing by U.S. Without giving details about the strategies on how the central bank will act its Nov. 2-3 meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke said additional monetary stimulus may be warranted because inflation is too low and unemployment is too high.

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Fed is considering ways for raising inflation expectations to encourage people to believe that prices will start rising at a faster pace so that they would spend more of their money now. Retail sales in U.S.climbed more than forecast as purchases rose 0.6 percent following a 0.7 percent gain in August and manufacturing in the New York region expanded in October at a faster pace than anticipated.

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China’s Shanghai Composite Index saw gains of 8.5 percent on the anticipation that China’s banks show strong earnings growth this quarter as the lending has beaten the forecast. Moreover the strong exports growth of 25.1 percent in September mirrors the strong underlying economic momentum. The country’s foreign-exchange reserves, the world’s largest, surged by a record to $2.65 trillion at the end of September.

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India’s wholesale price index rose to rose 8.62 percent in September from a year earlier after an 8.5 percent gain in August. Manufactured product inflation and Food price inflation rose by 0.3 percent and 1.6 percent respectively in September fromthe previous month. RBI Chief Subbarao said that inflation in India is being “quite stubborn,” a sign that controlling prices remains the central bank’s priority.

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Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn signaled the central bank may intervene in the currency markets to shield exporters from the strengthening rupee. The capital account showed a surplus of $17.5 billion in the quarter to June 30, compared with a record shortfall of $13.7 billion in its current account.

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Foreign investors have so far poured approximately $23 billion in stocks and 10 billion indebt this year. Industrial production expanded by 5.6 percent in August after seeingan expansion of 15.2 percent in July.Going next week the main attraction for retail investors would be the primary market with Mega IPO of Coal India slated to open on 18th October. As Infosys has already rung the bell with positive surprise in terms of earning growth, the investors would now look forward to numbers of companies like L&T, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, etc that are scheduled to announce numbers next week.

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Nifty has support between5870-5950 and Sensex between 19200-19640 levels.With expecting second round of monetary easing, investors dumped dollar and endowed other investment avenues. Commodities extended a rally to the highest intwo years and CRB closed near the mark of 300. The dollar fell to its lowest in 10 months against a basket of currencies and breached the mark of 77. Five week continuous downfall enhanced metals and agricultural commodities.

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Gold gave heroic performance and made another life time high. It rose more than 25% in 2010.Silver is also trading near 30 year high. However, being prudent investors, one should book profit in gold and silver, considering safe trading. Base metals are expected to trade in a range. Crude oil should trade in range $80-85 in short run on mixed fundamental. OPEC has decided to keep the production quota unchanged in last meeting. Agro commodities should trade with high volatility ahead of expiry of October contract.

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Weekly Update 4th – 8th October 2010

Global markets closed on a mixed note in the week gone by, with Indian markets closing in positive on weekly basis. To send a message to China to raise value of its currency, the U.S. House of Representatives this week approved a bill that would let domestic companies petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the effect of weak yuan. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he is confident that tensions over China’s currency, the yuan, won’t lead to escalating trade sanctions or feed into a broader global currency conflict.

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European confidence in the economic outlook unexpectedly improved this month. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations rose to 103.2, the highest since January 2008, from a revised 102.3 in August. The European Commission forecasted a more “moderate” expansion in the second half of the year as governments from Ireland to Portugal step up spending cuts to push down deficits. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said that there is “continuing uncertainty” about the outlook.

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China’s manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in four months in September. According to China’s logistics federation and statistics bureau, the purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.8 from 51.7 in August. The data is viewed very positively by the market as it shows that China’s economic momentum may counter weakness in the global recovery. It is believed that growth may be further aided in coming months as government plans to speed the completion of stimulus projects and boost public housing construction.

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In Japan, the jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent. After intervening few days back in the foreign exchange market in order to stem the yen appreciation, Japan’s Finance Minister reiterated that Japan is ready to keep intervening after selling yen for the first time in six years last month.

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Core infrastructure industry that account for 26.7 percent of industrial output in India slowed to 3.7 per cent in August, as compared to 6.4 per cent in the same month last year. Going forward we expect the markets would remain firm as it is supported by strong portfolio investments. The best strategy to ride the tide would be stay invested. Nifty has support between 5940-5870 and Sensex between 19640-
19200 levels.

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Bullions may continue to lead the charge in the commodities counter as both silver and gold recently tested life time highs in MCX. The latest boon to the metal has been increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve will further ease monetary policy with measures including the purchase of Treasuries. Jitters about European sovereign debt problems have also supported gold higher as a safe-haven investment. Better jobless claims data and a revised upward GDP in US supported the crude counter which can make further gains in next coming week. Base metals will take cues from LME as China markets will remain closed for a week. In agro counter pulses along with oilseeds may trade in range while spices can get some support from upcoming festive season. Mentha oil firm export demand and low crop will assist the prices to make fresh high in MCX.

SILVER……GROWING AVENUE OF INVESTMENT

Recently silver, known as poor’s gold, is gaining not only against the dollar and other old world currencies but also outperforming gold. Due to high prices gold is loosing its own attraction from common man and importance of silver as precious metals is gaining momentum. The declining trend of gold/silver ratio indicate that silver become better destination for investment. Like gold, silver has retained rally momentum due to recent poor economic data that has caused investors to purchase Silver as a “safe haven” alternative investment. The pickup of silver industrial demand due to the emergence and growth of a number of new end uses, and continued strong investment demand is pushing silver prices sharply higher.

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Like all metals, London Bullion Market is the global hub for silver trading, while the New York’s Comex Futures dominate the solver fund activity. The world’s largest silver backed exchange-traded fund, the i Shares Silver Trust, said its holdings rose to 9,280.40 tonnes by Sept. 1 from 9,151.03 tonnes on August 5.

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Global demand- supply of silver According to World Silver Survey 2010 , global silver mine production rose last year, by almost 4%, its seventh straight annual increase to reach a record high of 22,072 ton.Peru is the world’s largest silver producing country followed by Mexico, China, Australia and Bolivia. GFMS is forecasting a further mine production rise of 3 per cent this year.

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According to GFMS, In the last ten years, the world jewellery demand was down 8 per cent and silverware as much as 38 per cent. And because of technology changes silver use in photography sector had suffered a major fall of 62 per cent. But as strengthening of belief in silver as a precious metal is the 145 per cent demand gain since 2000. The industrial application of silver is almost 48 per cent of total silver use.

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Indian demand- supply of silver Though India is generally believed to have a great appetite for gold, Indians also love to possess silver in their homes for jewellery. India is voluminous importer of silver. Of the 4,000 tonnes that India used to import annually, around 2,600 tonnes was used to make jewellery and ornaments. MMTC is the largest importer of gold in the country. The firm’s silver imports fell by more than 44% in the fiscal year to end March 2010, as high prices dented demand. More than 60% of India’s silver demand comes from farmers.

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Last year silver demand dipped because the country experienced one of the worst monsoon seasons in over four decades. However, with much better monsoon this year, the situation is set to reverse and India’s appetite for silver has also been boosted because gold has become too expensive at current prices. According to official data, India’s silver imports in the first six months of 2010 are up 579%.

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From April this year, India has also started hallmarking of the white precious metal to ensure purity. With increasing amounts of impurities in jewellery being sold across the country, public sector trading major, Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) is banking on its branded jewellery, silverware gift items and coins to push up its market share.

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Like gold, silver has not enjoyed equal recognition from hedge funds, pension and retirement funds, insurance companies, and sovereign wealth funds– but this is likely to change as fund managers recognize silver’s relative value and simply wish to diversify their precious metals exposure.

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Outlook

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Good monsoon, high gold prices and global trends may help silver outperform the yellow metal in India. Better harvesting will underpin demand from the farming community this year. Since gold prices are trading over `19,000 per 10 gm, many rural families are now switching to silver.The weakening of rupee also supporting the prices.

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More and more people here are using silver as a speculative commodity play as many others are looking at it as a safe haven asset. The overall market sentiment is bullish for silver. So it could be a more decisive silver price breakout before the year ends to touch the level of `33500.

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NATURAL GAS “Volatile by Nature, getting ahead” Final Part :)

3. Active hurricane forecasts may underpin prices

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The numbers are out. An active storm season is predicted for the Atlantic and natural gas-related ETFs are already gearing up and moving on the news. More storms than “normal” – about 16 – are anticipated to hit the Atlantic coast of  the United States this season. Of these, eight are expected to become hurricanes and about four of them are going to be intense, according to the Tropical Storm Risk.

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The forecast joins a growing number of predictions that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1, will be among the most active on record. As the number of hurricanes rises, so do the chances of one striking the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico or Florida’s crop areas.

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The Gulf is home to about 30% of U.S. oil and 12 % of U.S. natural gas production, the U.S. Energy Department says. It also has seven of the 10 busiest U.S. ports, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Meanwhile, BP is still trying to cap a leaking offshore oil well that has created a devastating slick that is washing up in Louisiana. Attempts to stop the oil will be hampered if and when a tropical storm or hurricane passes through the Gulf of Mexico.

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4. Warm Weather

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It is expected that temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest, the key gas consuming regions, to average above normal in the coming days, with highs frequently climbing to the mid-80s Fahrenheit area. However, a healthy economic recovery also could trigger a strong gain in industrial demand this year, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of total gas consumption.

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Crude Oil & Natural Gas Ratio

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Historically, the price of oil and natural gas has moved in tandem because the demand for both commodities move up or down in conjunction with the economy and weather. The historical oil-to-gas price ratio has ranged from 6:1 to 13:1. For example, at a 10:1 ratio, if the price of natural gas is $7 per MMBtu, then the value or price per barrel of crude oil is expected to be around $70 per barrel. This oil-to-gas price ratio move up and down based on current and expected future events, particularly if there is political unrest.

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However, the oil-to-gas price ratio changed dramatically in the middle of 2009. As crude oil climbed to over $80 per barrel & natural gas NYMEX prices fell to $4 per MMBtu, taking the oil-to-gas price ratio to 20:1.Because of the wide price ratios last summer, some investment companies urged investors to buy natural gas commodities based solely on this ratio, under the belief that it would ultimately return to a historical level of 6:1 to 13:1, providing investors with a formidable profit. Now days we are witnessing that natural gas prices are getting underpinned and are expected to outperform crude oil so that the ratio will come again in its range.

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With keeping these fundamentals into consideration, investors can bet on this interesting commodity.

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NATURAL GAS “getting ahead with confidence” Part 1

Scarcity is always good news for a commodity-based investment. But when it comes to natural gas, scarcitydoesn’t seem to be an issue these days. Natural gas prices have been extraordinarily volatile over the past 15 years, and the recent experience is no exception as, prices have gained sharply since August 2009. However, they are still less than half what they were in 2008.

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With an unpredicted surge in production, the natural gas price is getting cheaper and cheaper compared to oil. There are concerns among traders also that the market will be oversupplied in the short- to medium-term, with rig counts going up and industrial demand still struggling due to the weak economy. These factors translate into limited upside for natural gas-weighted companies and related support plays. But, the gap between supply and demand is expected to reverse in the coming months as natural gas producers bet on the improving U.S economy, the forecast of an active hurricane season and many other factors.

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However, natural gas might have more upside potential than downward potential for the following reasons:

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1. Rising Inventory Discourages Production

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Lower demand and higher production resulted in storage injections. U.S. Energy Information Administration data on 10th June, 2010 showed that domestic gas inventories rose by 99 billion cubic feet to 2.456 trillion cubic feet, a record high for this time of year and a level not normally reached until early July. Strong gains in storage have helped ease concerns about rebuilding stocks for next winter even if the summer turns out hot or Gulf Coast storms temporarily disrupt supplies. However, sustained low prices could reduce drilling activity over time. While the gas drilling rig count has fallen in five of the last seven weeks and raised expectations that U.S. production will slow later this year and tighten an oversupplied market, some traders worry that prices between $4.50 and $5 were still high enough to encourage more drilling. Gas prices might rise along with demand once production starts to decline.

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2. Increasing Usage for N.G

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Natural gas is an almost perfect energy source. Lower-priced natural gas will once again compete with coal for the electricity supply. Growing concerns about the environment also make it more attractive than coal. In addition, natural gas fired plants are much cheaper to build than nuclear plants. Gas now competes with diesel fuel for trucks and vans. In Asian countries, gas is being used by a growing number of regular cars. These benefits of natural gas over coal can also underpinned the prices in coming period.

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WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RISK IS NOT YOUR RISK APPETITE

Today we have wide investment options to invest our hard earned money to achieve our goals.Depending on our Greed or Fear, we choose products to invest. Some choose mutual funds; some choose direct investment in shares whereas some opt for PPF, Bank FDs or any other debt products. While before investing in any of the financial product, it’s important for an investor to consider his/her risk appetite. Risk appetite is the amount of risk that an investor can bear on its investments.

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Importance of the Risk Appetite:

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Suppose Mr. A and Mr. B invested Rs100 in XYZ Share. After some days the value drop to Rs 90, at this point both were calm, and accepted that this happened because of market volatility. After some more days, again price went down below70. At this point, A starts feeling oohh… and ouch… in his stomach. This is the point where his emotional pain increases to a point where he can no longer stay with this investment. That is the risk appetite for A whereas B is not affected that much, still he can take loss of 20 more, only where prices drop below 50, he may feel jitter.

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But here the question arises in the mind that how can we judge our risk appetite. Risk Appetite is determined from many factors like our expectations, current situation and past experiences of investing. In developing nations like India, we can find many investors who have high risk appetite and can take high risk to achieve high returns. But there is a high probability that while considering the risk appetite; investor may forget to consider the “Ability to take risk”. It’s not important whether he is willing to take risk or not.

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Willingness to take risk and the ability to take risk both are most important factors that one should consider before deciding the risk appetite.

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Willingness to Take Risk:

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This depends on our inherent nature, our attitude towards life, finance domain, Knowledge of financial products etc. Our whole upbringing will contribute towards this because our willingness to take risk will depend on our inherent self, who we are from inside. So you can either be extra cautious by nature and may not be willing to take risks or you can be a big risk taker and bet money on anything.

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Ability to Take Risk:

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This is the next important part in Risk taking. Does your situation allow you to take risk or not? It has nothing to do with your willingness to take risk, you can be a risk taker and dying to bet on the next multibagger or invest in that 100% return a year mutual fund, but you have to consider the worst case at the end. You have to visualize the worst case as if it has happened after you take that risky decision.

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While concluding, I wish to say that before investing in any financial asset one should judge his risk appetite. We should always take calculated risk (as per the willingness & ability to take risk) and being aware of what will be the outcome. Risk taking should be a rational, not an emotional, decision. We should know what can be the impact of taking decision. Hence, we must take risk which is required for meeting our financial goals. Taking Over-risk is same as taking Low-risk.

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Weekly Update 5th-9th April

Domestic markets continued to build on the gains for the eighth consecutive week. The undertone remained buoyant as the growth signs are becoming clearer. A closer look on the gains gives impression that emerging economies would continue as a favorite investment destination. Hopes of good result season, continued buying by foreign institutional investors & recent upgrade of India’s credit rating are some of the factors that are keeping up the investment momentum in the market. On the global front, in US the recent payroll data has further boosted the confidence among the investors as it looks the deepest recession has ended.

Payrolls, a major indicator rose by 162,000 workers, the third gain in the past five months and the most since March 2007. Home prices in US unexpectedly rose in January for an eighth month. Home prices in 20 US cities rose 0.3% in January, indicating the housing market is stabilizing as the economy expands.

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According to some estimates US economy probably grew by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010 after a 5.6 percent pace of expansion in the fourth quarter of 2009. Apart from the tightening in monitory policy by RBI the other trigger for the markets would be monsoon forecast. A healthy monsoon would improve agriculture output & thereby rural incomes. It would also be crucial from the inflation point of view, as it is still a worry factor & may affect the growth momentum.

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Tokyo-based Research Institute for Global Change has predicted normal monsoon rains in India for the current year. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issues a monsoon forecast, usually in the second half of April after considering weather observations in different parts of the world and extrapolating statistical data.

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Overall trend of world stock markets is up and Commodities which were under pressure some time back also had a good rally last week. It seems now the mid cap and small cap are leading with mainline Nifty or Sensex lagging behind. The global liquidity is leading to various asset classes being chased by investors at every reaction. Nifty has support between 5150-5050 levels and Sensex between 17200-16800 levels.

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Firm U.S., Chinese and European manufacturing figures along with decline in SHFE and LME stockpiles may continue to keep the base metals on upbeat note. Lack of clear risk sentiment may keep gold directionless. Drop in U.S. jobless claims may lend further support to crude prices. Oil prices have risen about 23 percent from early February as the industrial sector leads a gradual recovery in the US economy. Possible new round of sanctions against Iran, maybe within weeks rather than months, could be underpinning the crude market.

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Spices pack may extend further gains while oilseeds may witness some short covering.