Markets in a Minute

ANAND KALYANARAMAN | Updated on March 12, 2011

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With the Budget hype cooling down, last week's conversations at The Studio veered back to the here and now. Here's a pick from what was being discussed.

Prarthana: Guess, like most of the country, the Sensex too has caught cricket fever. Packed as it is with glorious uncertainties. Never know what to expect.

Vedant: You bet. 264 points up on Monday, 217 down on Tuesday, flat on Wednesday, and then down again sharply on Thursday and Friday. Add to this all those intra-day gyrations. Running around confused like headless chicken, Sidhu would say.

Prarthana: Blame this week's market random-walk on the highs and lows in the political arena, the on-going Arabian soap opera, and finally the tragedy in Japan.

Vedant: The separation of ways and quick patch-up between the DMK and the Congress provided an interesting case study for students of game theory. Hawks, doves, and role-reversals!

Prarthana: Meanwhile, as the world continues to watch, talk, and mull, Muammar Gaddafi continues to play hawk-in-chief. With fighting raging on in Libya, crude oil prices have shot through the roof.

Vedant: Main worry though is about the unrest spreading. If Saudi Arabia also goes down that path, there's no saying where crude oil is headed. And that could just mean kaput for poor, dear global economic recovery. To add to the woes, the earthquake-cum-tsunami catastrophe in Japan on Friday saw most global markets feel the tremors.

Prarthana: Amidst all the jitter though, pure-play oil companies may have something to smile about, with improving realisations. In fact, on Monday, Cairn India closed above the open offer price proposed by Vedanta for the company's shareholders. But this flourish was short-lived.

Vedant: Wonder how the Cairn-Vedanta deal is going to end. I hear the government may finally take a call on this in the coming week.

Prarthana: Both Mr Agarwal and Mr Gammell must be keeping their fingers crossed, hoping for that much-coveted green signal. Akin to what the RIL-BP deal is expected to get.

Vedant: RIL's fortunes seem to be turning for the better. Just some time back it inked that mega deal with BP. And now, news comes in from the country's hydrocarbon regulator that the company's KG-D6 field could soon resume ramping up production, if all goes well.

Prarthana: All is surely not going too well for Hasan Ali, despite him getting bail. The tax-demand on the arrested billionaire is said to be a mind-boggling Rs 72,000 crore. Just to put the number in perspective, this is nearly half the amount locked in tax disputes in the country.

Vedant: No end to scam season, it seems. Methinks, some enterprising chap should start a new reality TV programme “The Great Indian Scamedy Show”. There will be no dearth of contenders and innovative ideas, I can bet. This is one game at which we can beat the whole world, hands down.

Published on March 12, 2011

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