We are coming out of the biggest roller-coaster week in Indian investing. The date, Friday 13th March, seemed almost celestially made with this destiny.
The lower circuit filter hit by the index in early morning trade gave most market participants the shivers. It was a moment everybody knew could happen and yet nobody quite expected. When the markets closed for 45 minutes, sanity seemed to have been rebuilt and we saw the biggest intraday bounce in stock market history.
For a 5000 point swing in trade, the markets seemed overtly calm. The bigger individual players didn’t even come on TV, the mutual fund honchos were giving their usual gyan, and the broking industry made little fuss. Everybody swiftly moved to check the US futures and savouring the bounce in the local markets. Portfolios slowly gave away the overflowing red and ended up marginally lower. The topdown, contrarian trade seemed to have worked making it a ‘Good Friday’ for many.
But, in uncertain times like these, one must take it one day at a time making incremental investing, watching risks, spotting opportunities and achieving scale. Much like past episodes involving epidemics, cures will be found or the intensity will wane leaving the markets relieved. Then it will be back to business as usual. Until then, we will see some very tense, intense and exciting trading days.