Thursday, May 8, 2008

Markets Tumble as Crude Advances

The US markets (Dow Jones) was down over 200 points last night (Thursday) on concerns of crude oil reaching a record high of $123 a barrel. Even the Asian markets were weak this morning and we were bound to go down with weak global cues. It was because of this reason that the Sensex opened more than 200 points down while the Nifty opened about 50 points in the red and then stayed down all through within a range of only 30 points throughout the day.

We have the 30 minutes chart of the Nifty with us today and there are some observations that we can make from it. The support trendline on this chart is lower than it was on the 60 minutes chart. Here we have support from the trendline at around 5070, which has not been broken as yet. The highs made between 5065 and 5070 on 22nd, 24th and 25th of April also provide support at these levels, which has been signified by another trendline. And then we have another trendline, and this time a downtrending one, which signifies that prices should go up if they cross this trendline at 5100. This last trendline, if seen in conjunction with the RSI signifies a positive divergence, which means that while the prices have been coming down during this period, RSI has remained more or less stable. There is another trendline, which connects the high made on 7th April and the lows made on 15th and 16th April, which also provides support at 5070 but that has not been shown here to avoid two things – firstly, and more importantly, confusion, and secondly, excessive analysis, because excessive analysis leads to paralysis, also known as analysis paralysis, says Chris Garrett.

The price of crude oil has more than doubled in the last year and a half, has become six times in the last six years and has become eight times in the last nine years. Some of the causes of rising crude oil prices have been discussed in one of my previous posts titled “Renewable Energy”.
Incidentally, this article has also been published on Reuters.

This article on Bloomberg writes that countries like China, India, Russia and the middle east may be responsible for the rising crude oil prices. A few days back President Bush too attributed the rising food cost to China and India. While that may have been a little far-fetched to swallow, Bloomberg (rather, the International Energy Agency in Paris) may well be right about its claim, though if we compare the per capita consumption, US is still consuming 10 times the energy than India does.

Dance with shadows says that The burden of the rising crude price has a huge bearing on the profitability of many industrial units in India. Commodities such as aviation turbine fuel (ATF), naphtha and bitumen have witnessed a huge price increase during 2007-2008. These products are selling at market-determined prices. Their prices are up by 27-39% year-on-year. It is expected that the rising price would have a huge impact on air travel, power and polymers sectors directly. We need to prepare to pay more for most manufactured products in the future.

This clearly shows that these increasing crude prices will have an effect on the inflation in our country and CRR hikes and interest rate hikes may not be the only solution. Maybe that is why the markets went down today, fearing the worst. It could very well be the same tomorrow, depends on global cues. Plus, the inflation data is also due out tomorrow. Let us cross our fingers and hope for the best. Technical Analysis does help buy but sentiment holds the key.

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