(The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not represent those of Reuters)
By Ambareesh Baliga
The UPA government was expected to easily win the FDI-in-retail vote in the Lok Sabha. Still, the markets took a breather over the last two trading sessions as friends and foes in politics are quite unpredictable.
In the end, the midnight oil burnt by the backroom boys of the ruling Congress did meet with success, with both the Samajwadi Party (21 MPs ) and Bahujan Samaj Party (22 MPs) abstaining from voting.
The markets will most probably open with a gap and we could scale Nifty levels of 6000 and more on Thursday, but higher levels should witness some profit booking as the Rajya Sabha is expected to the take up the bill for voting.
The direct, sentimental impact of FDI in retail would be felt on major sector players such as Pantaloon, Shopper's Stop, Trent, Provogue and some realty players with exposure to the sector -- Indiabulls Real Estate and Phoenix could see further gains.
I would advise investors to utilise this rally and book profits as I don't expect foreign retail majors to immediately rush in to invest in existing players.
This win would have wider implications in terms of the government's confidence to push through pending bills and continue with the reforms process started in September, thus improving overall market sentiment.
I expect the markets to scale new highs early in 2013, prior to the budget in the absence of major roadblocks. Again, utilise any dips or consolidation in the market to buy "India-building" sectors such as capital goods, infrastructure, banking and autos as they would be the leaders in this rally to cheer a rejuvenated government.
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With the crucial GDP data scheduled to be announced along with key corporate results, volatility is expected to prevail in the upcoming week. Disappointment on these fronts may push the Nifty down to the 7,200-7,500 range. Once we witness stability and consolidation, investors should increase their exposure, says Ambareesh Baliga. Full article