Sectors and markets seem to make comebacks when you least expect them to.
Sensex rallied on budget expectations early in the month of July. However, it dipped when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee failed to meet expectations or even to match them. But instead of a big bang Budget, what the country saw were gradual revelations of reforms, that included divestment too. This in conjunction with improving economic numbers as well as rising global markets led the Indian bourses on an upward trek.
For the month of July, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex gained 8.12 per cent, BSE Small Cap (8.11 per cent) and BSE Mid Cap (9.74 per cent). The rally was led by the auto, realty, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and Information Technology stocks. A gain of 25.34 per cent for the BSE Auto Index put it on the top of the charts while it was closely followed by the BSE Realty Index at 21.88 per cent.
The gains for BSE FMCG index stood at 21.01 per cent, propelling FMCG funds to post their historically highest returns of 17.63 per cent, breaking records of December 2003. Even the IT Index gained 20.53 per cent.
Although the diversified equity funds on an average gained 8.40 per cent this month, it is clear they are still struggling. During the month, out of 276 diversified equity funds, 139 funds outperformed the Sensex while 146 funds outperformed the Nifty.
Since the market decline started in January 2008, the diversified funds on an average, are still at a loss of more than 20 per cent.
On the other hand, the lack of opportunities led Arbitrage funds to return a modest 0.21 per cent.
This was also not a very happy month for debt funds. The short-term floating rate funds returned their worst in five years and stood at 0.36 per cent. While the returns under the liquid funds were 0.31 per cent, they were 0.38 per cent for the liquid plus category.
Gold ETFs, which invest in physical gold, gained 0.74 per cent during this month.