Budget week sees high expectations all around

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 07, 2014 18:16 hrs

The mood of the market is expected to remain positive on hopes that the Narendra Modi-led government will announce a slew of measures to revive economic growth in its first Union Budget on Thursday.

However, with expectations running high, some are concerned that there might be much room for disappointment. Right from the beginning of the year, markets have risen by about 25 per cent and foreign investors have poured in funds in excess of $10 billion.

This rally was first fuelled by the elections and subsequently by expectations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government would push for reforms in its preliminary Budget announcement.

"It (Budget) comes with an economic agenda that is largely based on Modi's track record and economic focus as a chief minister, rather than specifics in BJP's election manifesto. That it comes at a still-trying economic environment, a challenged external outlook - monsoons and oil, and some mixed signals on political and economic risk-taking by the new government, suggests it could go any-which-way," said a client note by Citi Research.

Market participants, especially foreign investors, remain extremely optimistic that the government's first Budget would provide the much-needed boost to the economy struggling with growth.

"The main theme this Budget will be to promote investment and start the growth process. Markets can still be on the high based on all the expectations that are being created," said C J George, managing director, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

The past week, benchmark indices - BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty - were up about four per cent each. The Sensex closed at 25,962 while the Nifty ended the week at 7,751.

For the week ahead, the Nifty could touch levels of 8,050 on the upside and find support at 7,650-levels.

"Based on the positions built-in, it is clear that the market is poised for more up moves than any major downsides. It is unlikely that the Nifty could correct below the 7,650-levels, which is a good support at this point," said Sahaj Agrawal, deputy vice-president, derivatives research, Kotak Securities.

In case of a breach below the 7,650-levels, the Nifty could lose 200-250 points and slip to 7,400-7,450 levels.

According to analysts, the up-move in the market could be led by gains in the oil and gas, banking and infrastructure sectors. These are expected to benefit from the reform announcements likely to be made in the Budget.

Cap on liquefied petroleum gas subsidy, easing capital pressure on some of the state-owned banks, higher customs duty, increase in lending limits for sectors like power are some of the measures that are likely to have a positive impact on these sectors.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the past week pumped close to Rs 4,367 crore into stocks. Domestic institutions, on the other hand, were net sellers at Rs 2,840 crore according to data from the exchanges. Some market players said overseas investors could hold back on investments until the Budget announcement.

"FIIs will continue to pump in money but the pace of that inflow could be a little slower in the week ahead. This is because FIIs might want to wait for one week till the Budget is over and then re-allocate their portfolio," said George.

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