Global or local --the market seems to have made up its mind to go up.

One major uncertainty is perhaps going to get out of the way and although there were some fears about the US elections but by and large, those have been contained and markets are looking beyond the US elections. Once this event is over and done with, the markets globally will focus on any stimulus package which may come through from the US and that is going to be quite substantial and could have an impact   on the global economy.

                         



Also, a lot of other countries -- EU, Japan, China and India -- are also looking at stimulus packages. In the initial days of Covid-19, the world was relying on the central bankers to keep the liquidity conditions extremely easy and lower interest rates, and that has played out really well.

The next leg of the up move will come from fiscal concessions and stimulus packages that may come from the government. It is getting reflected in the stock prices. Also, globally we are seeing better than expected corporate numbers coming through, especially in India.

It is the beginning of the earnings season and whatever numbers have come through so far have encouraged a lot of investors waiting on the sidelines. All the effect of the lockdown and Covid-19 and second wave and many other uncertainties are being gradually answered with the numbers which are coming through. It all suggests that apart from a few select industries which depend upon crowds coming in, by and large, it is business as usual. Normalcy has come in better than what a lot of analysts and fund managers were expecting.


How are you looking at the metals basket? Is it prudent to look at this sector as a long-term investment opportunity?
There is no long term about metals. They are commodities and they are susceptible to many global factors and a lot of volatility in the end product prices. Some of them are difficult to calibrate and understand. Metals and other commodities are great trading opportunities at this point of time. If a stimulus package comes through in the US and elsewhere in the world, it is going to be extremely positive for metals because a lot of it would be focussed on rebuilding infrastructure and therefore benefit a lot of industrial metals.

Some of the metal names, steel majors in particular, are on a roll. What is your view on the steel majors?
We are very positive on steel companies and so far the numbers which have come through are quite interesting. Volumes have picked up, end product prices have held up pretty well and margins have really expanded. These are high operating leverage businesses per se. A lot of the steel majors are taking advantage of this upswing to try and reduce their debt.