Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
A volatile week saw the Nifty trading in a range between 10,450 and 10,600, and the Bank Nifty index being dragged down by the $1.77 billion Punjab National Bank fraud case. The rupee ended at 64.21 against the dollar, compared to 64.39 last week. FIIs were net sellers to the tune of 28.5 billion rupees ($44 million) while DIIs were net buyers to the tune of 23.7 billion rupees.
Markets were back on a selling spree after central banks across the globe hinted at reducing stimulus. U.S. markets were gripped by fears that upbeat wage growth in the United States may prompt the Federal Reserve to hike rates more aggressively in 2018. The Bank of England also warned of a sooner-than-expected rate hike.
After rallying for eight consecutive weeks, India’s stock markets finally took a breather following the announcement of the Union Budget, with investors getting spooked by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s proposal to introduce long-term capital gains tax. The government tried to maintain a balancing act between growth and populism but tilted towards the latter.
The Nifty and Sensex scaled significant landmarks of 11,000 and 36,000 levels respectively during the week as unabated fund inflows continued amid robust corporate earnings and optimism over the upcoming Union Budget on February 1.
Markets continued their relentless march upward with the Nifty hitting the 10,900 mark and the Sensex surpassing 35,500 levels. Sentiment was aided by the government's decision to cut its additional borrowing requirement and a cut in GST rates of 29 goods and 54 services.
Markets hit a fresh record high again on hopes of better earnings performance as TCS and Infosys results met expectations. Optimism related to the upcoming annual budget also aided sentiment.
The new year began on a flattish note with the Nifty gaining a marginal 0.2 percent for the week. The broader markets outperformed, with the mid-cap and the small-cap indexes gaining 1.4 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.
India’s key indices posted their best annual gains in three years, with the Nifty up 29 percent to close 2017 at 10,531. The Nifty mid-cap outperformed with 47 percent gains, mostly driven by government reforms, the relentless flow of liquidity, positive outcome of the Gujarat election and optimism of growth going ahead.
Markets hit new record highs on domestic buying after the ruling BJP retained power in Gujarat and also won in Himachal Pradesh, while optimism over the U.S. tax reform bill added further momentum.
Markets ended at an over two-week high on Friday as investors turned optimistic after exit polls forecast a victory for the ruling BJP in the Gujarat assembly election. The result will be out on Monday. For the week, the Nifty ended higher by 0.7 percent at 10,333. The broader markets, however, under-performed.