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Equity markets continued to show strength in February, with the BSE Sensex up 3.93%, supported by strong FII inflows after four months of net outflows and better than expected corporate results. The CNX Nifty closed at 8880 points, up 3.73% above its Jan ’17 close.
FIIs bought Indian equities worth USD 1.5bln in February, after selling close to USD 4.7 bln in the preceding 4 months. Domestic inflows into equity mutual funds touched almost ` 50,000 Crores in the Financial Year 2016-17 until January. Such strong domestic inflows acted as a perfect balance to FII’s, whenever they chose to sell Indian stocks.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for February came in at a whopping 39 month high of 6.55%, up from 5.25% in January. This is largely due to the low base effect since February of last year. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for January 2017, however, showed considerable improvement at +2.7%, compared to a (-) 0.1% in December.
The outlook for Equity markets look largely positive with the improving growth outlook and signs of better corporate profitability. As always, volatility is expected due to global events in the next few weeks and months. The election results in 5 states, including UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa & Punjab have also made markets hugely positive, as more reformist measures are expected from the Modi Government.
We believe that, in the long run, the market is poised for a major up-move. Hence, we advise continued investments in equity markets through the SIP route, even while using any major falls to invest lump sums.
Accrual based Debt funds continue to be a superior alternative to Fixed Deposits, offering a variety of reasons, namely, Attractive Returns, Tax Efficiency, Liquidity and a Diversified portfolio. We have given highlights of few such funds in this issue for your reference.
Our “Special Feature” this month is an interesting article ‘Political Consensus in India is Towards Reforms’ by Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund.
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