The beginning of 2010 has not been particularly impressive for the Indian markets. The NIFTY touched a 2010 high of 5281.8 on January 6, 2010. Since then, the markets have corrected 8.6% and is currently trading at 4826.8 on the NIFTY.
The big question in the mind of many investors probably is - Will the markets correct more or positions for long term can be taken at these levels?
This article looks into the probable direction of the Indian markets in the next 1-2 months. It is impossible to predict any levels for the indices. Hence, that is not something I would attempt to do. I will primairly try to figure out the probable trend for the markets based on certain factors and events.
I would present my conclusion first and then the rationale for the conclusion.
In my opinion, the Indian markets have further downside if we look at a 1-2 month time horizon. Therefore, if I were looking at some long term investment, I will personally wait for some more time before taking any fresh exposure to the markets.
The reasons why I feel that markets might correct further are discussed below.
Valuations still look expensive
The Indian markets are still trading at a PE of close to 21. This is higher then the average PE the Indian markets have traded in the last 10 years. Also, the Indian markets have gone up over 100% from its March 2009 lows. After such a steep rise, a correction of even 20-25% can't be ruled out. This would be healthy for the markets in terms of attractive more money as valuations again start looking fair.
China Credit Tightening
The Central Bank in China has been making efforts to control the credit growth as there is a high probability of asset bubbles and run away inflation in China. Infact, one can say that the Chinese property market is already in a bubble stage.
Therefore, there is a high probability of aggressive policy action to control credit growth and this can slow down China's growth significantly. Any such event will trigger a sharp sell off by the FII's in the emerging markets. Hence, the Indian economy might do well and the stock markets tank or correct significantly.
No high hopes with Budget 2009-10
It is very clear that the main focus of the Government during the current years budget will be to take measures to reduce the deficits. Generally, the first and the last budget of any Government is the one where deficits concerns take a back seat.
Therefore, it would not be a budget that would go down very will with the corporates and the investors. Even if we look at the historic trend, the markets have corrected significantly after the Budget. In my opinion, it will be no different this time.
Plenty of problems in the Western World
The developed world has averted a financial disaster but are surely not out of the woods. The fears of soverign debt defalt is a very valid one. The fear os the U.S economy slowing down again is also valid and highly probable.
Therefore, there are not many positive cues which one can expect from the developed markets.
There is no doubt that the Indian economy is coming back to a robust growth trajectory. At the same time, inflation is also becoming a greater concern. The food inflation has shown no signs of easing and the WPI inflation is also going up at a robust pace.
It would not be surprising to see further action by the RBI relatively soon. This might act as a negative trigger for the markets.
Sectors to Avoid
- Industrial Commodities - will be negatively impacted if there is a sharp slowdown in China
- Real Estate - Valuations still look expensive and interest rate hardening can negatively impact growth
- Crude Oil Exploration - The China slowdown factor might impact exploration Companies as crude corrects