The week gone by had plenty of action and played out on expected lines as mentioned in the previous weeks article. It all began with the Rajya Sabha and then the Lok Sabha scrapping special status under Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir and making it a Union Territory with an Assembly. It also made Ladakh a Union Territory without an Assembly. The divide right across the centre of the principle opposition party Congress was clear. It lost the chief whip in the Rajya Sabha on the issue. Further, a large number of ex MPs from the Congress from the NextGen who incidentally had all lost the Lok Sabha battle this time voiced their view against the party line. Fearing another split, on Saturday night the Congress made Sonia Gandhi the interim Congress President. This after the party had said that the next President would be a non-Gandhi.

Wednesday saw RBI deliver the expected rate cut and break tradition by reducing rates from the conventional 25 basis points to 35 basis points this time around. Repo rate now stands at 5.40 per cent which is the lowest rate in nine years. All six members voted in favour of a rate cut while four agreed with a 35 basis point cut and two supported a 25 basis points cut.

Thursday and Friday, we heard about the Finance Minister holding consultative meetings with captains of industry, chambers of commerce, automobile association and members of the capital market including FIIs and FPIs. All of this led to the market believe strongly that the recent surcharge on income tax applicable to FPIs could be rolled back or done away with. Markets rallied strongly and the mood on Dalal Street seemed significantly different than what it was over the last five weeks since the budget was presented. No matter how coincidental it may seem, FPIs were net buyers on Friday against their constant selling.

BSESENSEX gained 463.69 points or 1.25 per cent to close at 37,581.91 points while NIFTY gained 112.30 points or 1.02 per cent to close at 11,109.65 points. The broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 1.12 per cent, 1.18 per cent and 1.19 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP was up 0.91 per cent while BSESMALLCAP gained 1.63 per cent. The benchmark indices gained on three of the five trading days and lost on the remaining two. The low on the BSESENSEX made on Monday was 36,416.79 points while on NIFTY it was 10,782.60 points. These could be significant levels on any negative news flow in the market in the coming weeks.

The top performing sector was BSEAUTO which was up 2.73 per cent whilst the worst performing was BSEMETAL down 3.03 per cent.

The Indian Rupee was under pressure and lost Rs 1.22 or 1.75 per cent to close at Rs 70.80 to the US Dollar. This weakness was partly due to China devaluing its Yuan to trade above the 7 Yuan to the dollar level. Dow Jones lost 197.57 points or 0.75 per cent to close at 26,287.44 points.

In primary market news, shares of Affle (India) Ltd listed on Thursday. Trading was very volatile with shares touching a high of Rs 958.37 and a low of Rs 751.05 before closing at Rs 875.10. Shares gained 17.46% from its issue price of Rs 745. Delivery volume on day one was over 87 per cent of the non-anchor portion which is indeed very high. HNIs who had subscribed their portion by 198 times lost money as the cost of funding was between Rs 215-220. The share never reached these levels during trading. While on one hand it could be said that a large number of people who were allotted shares sold, on the other hand it could be said that shares have been bought and gone into strong hands. The coming days would tell what happened.

The primary issue from Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd was just about subscribed. The QIB portion was subscribed 3.11 times while HNI and Retail remained undersubscribed at 0.55 times and 0.09 times respectively. The issue was overall subscribed 1.05 times.

The issue from Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd which was an offer for sale for Rs 3,125 crore was subscribed technically. The offer for sale saw the company allot 1.80 crore shares to anchor investors and then the QIB portion was fully subscribed. This saw the QIB portion which was 75 per cent of the total book receive subscription for 3.03 crore shares which was 75.78 per cent of the overall issue. The HNI portion was subscribed 0.89 times and Retail portion subscribed 0.30 times. The overall book was subscribed 0.9225 per cent. The issue being an offer for sale was subscribed and full allotment would be made to all valid applications.

The week ahead has two trading holidays on Monday and Thursday. This would break any momentum which would have built up last week. There is expectancy post the meetings that various segments of industry and capital markets had with the Finance Minister. While not much is expected to happen immediately, some decision on the surcharge needs to be taken. If nothing is forthcoming, there could be yet another round of selling in the markets which seem to have just made some sort of a base.

Markets would be volatile in a short three-day week and swing wildly. Expect some clarity on pending issues shortly, may not be on Monday or Tuesday. Allow markets to run their course before entering them.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal.)

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