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Budget month may not be rewarding for investors
January, 27th 2011

After a weak beginning to the new year investors can expect a better February, track record of the budget month indicate. analyst . are however, divided.

In the last 21 years, February has been rewarding on 13 occasions with an average return of 4.65%. The month delivered some of the best monthly returns in the stock market history. February 1992 delivered handsome 32% gain in a month.

The other good years for February performance were 1991 (24% returns), 1996 (16%), 1998 (13%) and 2002 (8%). Stock analysts see a range-bound trade during next month and are unsure if February will retain its shine this year. "The months of January and February are not normal this year as there are other events and issues playing their roles," said DD Sharma, Senior VP, research at Anand Rathi Financial Services.

"Budget expectations alone may not be enough to drive the market this time," Sharma said adding issues ranging from inflation to political stability will affect the market.

On three occasions in the last four years, the returns were subdued, gains during February 2010 being 0.44%. The average performance in the decade was positive with investors gaining on six occasions since 2000.

The worst performances were in 2007 when the returns turned negative at -8.18, 2009 (-5.65%),1995 (-5.45) and 2001 (-1.84).

In the current year, January have given negative returns of 7.3% so far. With just five trading days to go, analysts do not expect the month to close on positive returns. BSE Sensex closed at 19,007 on Friday from the closing level of 20,509 on December 31, 2010. January also saw FIIs selling shares worth Rs 3,500 crore till date after pumping a record 1.3 lakh crore during 2010.

While Mr Sharma predicts high volatility in the market, he expects a Nifty level of 5,400 in an event of negative development on the political front. The Nifty closed at 5,696 on Friday, down by 15 points from its previous close. Global sentiment usually favours emerging markets, but the sentiment was affected this time following positive data from the developed markets. The trend may continue during the coming months, said another analyst.

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