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Trader's Diary: Beware of a sharp contraction in Nifty PE multiple

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We have come a long way from debating if a rate hike will happen to when it will happen and now we discuss the extent of the hike. There is no escaping the fact that excessive money printing has impacted asset prices positively despite questionable future earning potential.

Trader's Diary: Beware of a sharp contraction in Nifty PE multiple
If there are a few things that market players, here as elsewhere, have become accustomed to, it is the so-called "FED PUT", signifying that when markets correct significantly, the Fed will step in to stem the rot.
This has almost become a religion and has spawned the buy-the-dip strategy. Another big assumption in today's prices is that interest rates will remain muted even after the Fed commences rate hikes.
We have come a long way from debating if a rate hike will happen to when it will happen and now we discuss the extent of the hike. This progression itself points to the uncertain nature of the game, one where the rules of engagement keep changing. COVID-19 and its aftermath was just one of the events that changed the rules. Going forward, while events of that magnitude might not emerge, there is no escaping the fact that excessive money printing has impacted asset prices positively despite questionable future earning potential.
To put it simply, I'd venture to say that in the last decade, multiple expansion in India has probably outstripped that in the US and I'd expect that in the months and probably years to come, as monetary policy becomes less accommodating, the reverse will also be true, i.e., multiple contractions will be sharper here than in the US.
If earnings do not hold on to the growth witnessed in the last two years (base effect/cost control), then index levels will get a double whammy of lower multiples and lower earnings. All this gets to be academic if the recent Fed speak was just a head fake and everything remains as is. Somehow, I'm not willing to take that bet...
If the last 3000 points up move between the end July and mid-October was pure froth, then the recent 10 percent pullback was just the smart money making its presence felt. Single stock futures' long positions are still dominated by "retail investors", a red flag in my book as they were the engine that produced the froth in the first place.
Can they be induced into ignoring what the tea leaves are saying once again or to paraphrase a meme I read recently, has the supply chain disruptions impacted the free flow of greater fools? Just asking.
The author is an independent trader-cum-blogger and has worked at leading brokers on the institutional sales desk over the course of his near three-decade long career in the stock market.
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