Markets continued to remain in a state of flux with neither bulls nor bears able to dominate the week. Markets gained on three of the four trading sessions and lost on one of them. The net change during the week could at best be termed as neutral.
FPIs have continued showing interest in Indian equities and while there have been days when they have been net sellers, the number of days that they are net buyers outnumbers those that they are net sellers.
Dow Jones gained 240.34 points or 0.87 per cent to close at 27,921.58 points, and it continues to make new highs.
Telecom sector which a few years ago was the hottest sector is now down in the dumps. The recent Supreme Court verdict has added to their woes and the companies have reported huge losses in the quarter and half year ended September.
Bharti Airtel on marginally better revenues of 41,870 crore against Rs 39,950 crore has reported a net loss of Rs 2,152 crore against a net loss of Rs 2139 crore in the previous half year. After providing for exceptional item this loss balloons to Rs 25,162 crore.
This is a negative EPS of Rs 53.04 for the period. The exceptional item is provision under "AGR" which is adjusted gross revenue. The Supreme Court has given the telecom companies three months to pay the same.
Share prices of Bharti post the results went up sharply and gained Rs 31.55 for the day to close at Rs 393.20. They were up Rs 24.15 or 6.54 per cent for the week.
On the other hand, Vodafone Idea reported a loss of Rs 55,806 crore or a negative EPS of Rs 21.89. Share prices of the company during the week fell from Rs 3.78 to Rs 3.68.
Reliance Communication even though has no active business now reported a loss of Rs 30,142 crore. All these losses by the three telecom companies are largely on account of provision for AGR, delayed interest and penalty.
What will happen to these telecom companies in the immediate future, is probably known only to Supreme Court or God. This is akin to SEBI chief Ajay Tyagi commenting on Infosys issue where the matter was known only to Nandan Nilekani or God.
Results season is over and you will have a few company results trickling in, in the next week from the laggards but of hardly any consequence. As mentioned earlier it has been a tough quarter for India Inc which has been 'camouflaged' by tax cuts announced by the Finance Minister. Markets have certainly factored this is and now believe that things have bottomed out and recovery would happen here on no matter how slow.
FPI interest in Indian markets is certainly helping and aiding market recovery. The problematic auto sector seems to have bottomed out and almost all manufacturers are confident that things should be better when the cut off date for BS-VI vehicles of April 1, 2020 is introduced. The feeling is that inventory levels would be substantially lower than what existed during BS-IV introduction.
Bulls and bears tussle seem evenly matched and there is enough news flow to keep markets moving in both directions. The mood on the street is one of expectation and there is a lurking fear that some positive news could trigger a sharp upward movement.
While it is easy to say that markets seem to be going nowhere, the fact that we are trading in almost new territory and holding there now for about a fortnight is itself good news. The 40k mark on the BSE SENSEX and 11,850-11950 levels on NIFTY seem to be a trading range for the market.
A movement on either side from these levels is overdue and markets would move sharply in the direction of the breakout or breakdown. I strongly believe that the movement would be a breakout leading to new highs on the NIFTY which is yet to happen. Keep adequate stop losses and trade with a positive bias in the coming week.
(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)