Is it time to be bullish or bearish?

Is it time to be bullish or bearish?

Kanika Agarrwal of Upside AI and Amit Jeswani of Stallion Asset differ in their views on strength in the market

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Benchmark indices closed November expiry series at record highs with Sensex at 62,272.68 and Nifty at 18,484.10. Markets rallied across the globe as investors welcomed US Federal Reserve’s minutes that suggested slower pace of interest rate hikes going forward. Crude oil prices at 10-month low and India VIX falling to 52-week low also buoyed sentiment.

In this backdrop, investors hope to end the year at new record highs and look forward to 2023. Foreign brokerage Goldman Sachs expects Nifty to reach 20,500 by end-2023, led by mid-teen earnings growth and a modest price-to-earnings compression.

Meanwhile, we spoke to two PMS fund managers who have opposing views on this big market event.

Kanika Agarrwal, Co-founder, Upside AI

Headline index numbers are always interesting because they are doing two things: storytelling and misleading. Index is giving you the broad sentiment of the country’s investors. India is having a moment as we have the right tailwinds, demographics – both in absolute terms and relative to other markets. Therefore, the index highs reflect the optimism investors feel for India. The flip side is that this is misleading – the broader market has not moved like the Nifty. Year-to-date, Nifty is up 6 percent but the Smallcap 100 is down 14 percent.

Our system that decides allocation across equity, debt and gold has been close to its historical highest allocation to equity over the last two months. Similarly, our equity products have been taking 0 percent cash calls. Therefore, we are fully invested.

Having said that, there are enough known risks that continue to play out in the US and Europe for us to be cautious and expect a bumpy ride in 2023.

Amit Jeswani, Stallion Asset

Markets are going to be narrow. There are companies growing at 30-35 percent, which are good so they will drive the next phase. I think tech services will make a comeback. Basically, your supply chain is back to normal. Container prices, which is where all the problem started with a rise of 400-500 percent,  are down 75 percent. Now, crude prices have also corrected. Last year, crude base was $100. Now that has come down to normalized level. I believe it is time to be more aggressive.

As for sectors, financials will do okay, tech services will have a bounce back next year as several companies still showed very good performance last quarter. Some consumer companies are showing good growth. Therefore, there is no reason to believe markets will go down. Of course, you have to be selective, and steer clear of stocks that are continuously gaining. I am cautious about defense stocks. But, there is growth in the economy for sure.

You can’t be bearish on India or be high on cash allocation for a long time. There are opportunities. But it’s not going to be as broad like how it was in 2021, when everyone was making money.

Disclaimer: The views and investment tips expressed by investment experts on Moneycontrol.com are their own and not those of the website or its management. Moneycontrol.com advises users to check with certified experts before taking any investment decisions.​

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