**29 Feb** 2012: Markets bullish, India’s growth slips

  • Stocks firm after yesterday, Commodities bullish
    • Stocks: FTSE All World is up 0.4%; FTSE Eurofirst is up 0.5%; S&P 500 expected to open 0.2% higher; FTSE 100 leaps past 5900 again, and is at 5926
    • Currencies: Euro against the Dollar is sat at $1.346
    • Commodities: Brent Crude is at about $122.81/barrel; Copper is up today at $3.94/pound; Gold  has picked up 0.1% $1786/ounce
  • Indian economic growth slips
    • India’s Q4 economy in 2011 grew at its slowest in 3 years at 6.1%
    • This has mainly come from weaker activity in manufacturing, mining and agriculture
    • FICCI director has also warned that the strong performance of the services sector in Q4 will be dragged back in Q1 owing to slower activity in other areas
    • Tight monetary policy over the last 2 years, retreat of foreign capital, and weakening of Indian Rupee have all led to this slowdown, which is being described as worse than 2008 crisis. India look on course for only a 6.8% bounce back in 2013, as compared to the Govt’s targets of over 8%
  • Other news, briefly
  • European Banks seek a second injection of low cost loans from the ECB. There will be a decision regarding this on Wednesday. The LTRO, a long-term financing, provided Eurozone banks with Euro 489bn worth of loans in the first instance. While a second injection will not have dramatic outcomes, it will serve to stabilise debt yields
  • Ray Dalio, manager at Bridgewater Alpha, returns his investors $13.8bn over 2011. He has now overtaken George Soros, as the ‘most successful’ fund manager
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