The chips are never down

A new week and a new stimulus

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When do you know that you’re at the top?

We hit another high — the NIFTY and other global indices closed at record levels last week.

A fiscal stimulus is more certain

The US proposed a $900Bn stimulus as a relief for small businesses, local governments and the unemployed, aimed at creating more jobs as losses have increased since the second wave. This stimulus looks increasingly likely as the existing jobless aid programs will expire in December.

The vaccine is just an approval away

The UK became the first western country to clear Pfizer’s vaccine. The US FDA will decide on the same vaccine later this month. Pfizer has also sought approval from India’s DGCI for emergency use of its vaccine, to import for sale and distribution.

The above positive factors will impact Gold negatively. Also, the Dollar Index (DXY), which is a measure of the value of the US dollar relative to the other currencies, declined for the third week and is at its lowest since April 2018.

Capital is flowing away from safe havens to riskier assets.

Metals such as copper, which is a leading indicator of economic growth, are trading higher now; Natural gas and Crude oil have joined the commodity rally as well.

Domestic consumer sentiment remains optimistic

RBI’s consumer confidence index slightly improved to 52.3 in November from a record low 49.9 in September — the index is currently at 115.9 for the year ahead indicating long term optimism.

Fitch expects consumer spending to grow by 1.2% in 2020 compared to 2019

Firms will increase their intent-to-hire by 3%, in the current quarter, according to a survey by TeamLease — ease in lockdown measures will benefit hiring in metros and tier-1 cities significantly.

Domestic business revival lost steam

The manufacturing PMI index contracted to 56.3 in November, compared to 58.9 in October — cited reasons were pandemic-related restrictions and a slowdown in factory orders.

Service-sector PMI contracted to 53.7 in November, from 54.1 in October — despite this, new business inflows rose for the second straight month, and employment rose for the first time in nine months.

GST collections surpassed INR 1 trillion for the second consecutive month in November — however, it was INR 192 crores lower than in October.

Auto sales (wholesale) registered positive growth in October, compared to last year, but contracted compared to September as automakers curtailed production to reduce inventory pileup — despite a pickup in auto sales, retail demand is on a sticky wicket post the festive season.

According to a report by NASSCOM, 87% of businesses will focus on workflow digitisation and digital channels in the next 12–18 months — this bodes well for IT sector revenues and jobs overall

Allocation changes

No changes here. We continue to evaluate options within equity — deployments to other asset classes will continue.