Markets in a Minute

At the studio, much of the talk last week veered around rather aggressive topics. The war on terror, attack on inflation, legal battles. Mars, the lord of war, seemed to be in ascendant. Here's some of what we heard:

Diya: Seems, the ‘Obama gets Osama' moment has finally spelt catharsis for the US of A. Must say, the Americans have been tenacious. Ten long years of tracking and hunting after 9/11. And the finale, it seemed straight out of a spy thriller.

Shridhar: One war India or at least the Reserve Bank of India seems dead serious about is inflation. The central bank's frontal attack on galloping prices this week leaves little doubt about its intent – price control even at the cost of growth.

Diya: Expectedly, the collateral damage of the 50 basis point hike in repo and reverse repo was swift and sharp. The markets scurried for cover and gave up 463 points on Tuesday after the announcement. Rate sensitive sectors – banks, autos and realty – were beaten black and blue.

Shridhar: Not just that, the moderation in the GDP forecast to 8 per cent further frayed the market's nerves. Duvvuri Subbarao's hawkish stance left behind a Doworried Market. For the second straight week, the market's been yielding to gravity. Thankfully, the continuous losing streak was broken on Friday.

Diya: A continuing lacklustre earnings season added to the woes, with bigwigs such as Bharti and Hero Honda performing below expectations. A good show here and there seemed to do little to calm the market's jitters. Bad news flows did their bit too. Ranbaxy tanked on Thursday on reports of a $1 billion FDA penalty.

Shridhar: Someone who would be less worried now is Jet Airways. Its long-running legal tangle with Sahara ended on not-so-bad terms. Yes, Jet's got to pay Rs 116 crore as interest, but still it's got away relatively lightly. Sahara, sore that its claim of Rs 2,000 crore against the original Rs 1,450 crore was given the thumbs-down, has gone on appeal.

Diya: Korean mining major Posco though has reason to smile. After a wait which seemed like eternity, it's finally got the green signal for the Orissa project. A lot was at stake - a planned investment of Rs 53,000 crore, India's biggest foreign direct investment yet.

Shridhar: Meanwhile, our boys too seemed to have intensified their global shopping spree. Mundra Port's Rs 9,000 crore acquisition in Australia catapulted it to the big league among global port companies.

Diya: Also, big daddy Reliance Industries sought to assuage investor sentiment by indicating that the travails in its gas production are temporary, and that picture abhi baaki hai.

Shridhar: Just hope this picture has a happy ending. And also that the coming week is a better one for the market. It's likely to be for Air India, at least, with the pilots finally calling off their strike.



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