MARKETS IN A MINUTE

It was a week where the markets had only small gains in the past few sessions, after considerable fluctuations intraday. However, even as the results season draws to a close there were still enough sound bytes in the studio. A slice of what we heard.

Sameer: Looks like Wipro finally seems to be getting its act together. After several quarters of underperformance vis-à-vis peers, the company seems to have caught up with other top players such as Infosys, TCS and HCL Tech.

Natasha: Yeah true. They had a fairly balanced growth too and healthy client additions. Hindustan Unilever too seems to have had a robust quarter with strong profit expansion on the back of increased volumes and price hikes in select categories.

Sameer: But Bharti Airtel's numbers though have been mixed, with revenue growth being healthy, but profits coming in lower than analysts' expectation. They are also consciously adding fewer subscribers to shore up more valuable customers. It remains to be seen if 3G will take off in a big way for Bharti to be able to enhance realisations.

Natasha: Yeah…Going to global markets, Greece's PM's surprise decision to hold a referendum on the bailout package, that was finalised a week ago, caught all stakeholders unawares and saw markets all over the world tank.

Sameer: Yup. The global scene has calmed down after a near Greek tragedy was enacted. Mr George Papandreou finally called off the referendum and also survived the trust vote that took place later. That should soothe a few nerves and help ease concerns of a possible Greek default.

Natasha: Domestically, inflation fire continues rage with the food inflation coming in at 12.2 per cent, the highest in nine months. All the interest rate hikes done by the RBI over the past one year has not helped curb price rise.

Sameer: Not just that, as if to add fuel to the fire, the oil marketing companies have increased petrol prices by Rs 1.82 a litre. Not only is it going to burn a hole in the purse of consumers, it will not help inflation either.

Natasha: Maybe. Four-wheeler sales numbers have been disappointing despite the Diwali season. The likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have had substantial fall in sales.

Sameer: There is some reason to cheer. The telecom regulator has allowed up to 200 messages a day a SIM, double of what was allowed earlier. A lot of stock brokers are heaving a sigh of relief as they will be able to send more stock tips. Also, guys and girls who text all day can now enjoy a higher limit.

Natasha: Anyway, now that all the main results are out of the way, we will have to see how global factors and some political action domestically play out to decide market direction.







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