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Why you should stay away from the stock markets now?

 Why you should stay away from the stock markets now?
Even as this column is written, a Reuters report on Korean problems reads, "The current question was not whether, but when a war would break out on the peninsula," because of the "increasing threat from the United States", China's state news agency, Xinhua, on Friday quoted the North's Foreign Ministry as saying. This is certainly not good piece of news for global and Indian stock markets.

On Friday the US jobs data presented another gloomy picture after months of hopes. Global markets including those in Europe fell by 2 per cent as US March unemployment saw employers hiring at the slowest pace in nine months. Employers in the US added just 88,000, while the unemployment rate notched lower to 7.6 percent, largely due to people dropping out of the work force, according to the Labour Department. The Dow Jones lost 0.28 per cent, after dropping in excess of 1 per cent in early trade. The S&P 500 lost 0.48 per cent, while the NASDAQ fell 0.65 per cent.

The Indian markets present a gloomy picture, thanks to dismal data. High inflation, record current account deficit, weakening rupee and poor services and manufacturing data are taking its toll.

The last few days has seen perhaps for the first time selling from foreign institutional investors. They net sold on three days of the week, pressing sales in frontline stocks like ITC, HDFC and ICICI Bank.

The politics in India is getting messy and nobody is sure how long the UPA II government would last. Indian markets have been one of the worst performing markets in the region and for all of the reasons mentioned above. In fact, this year the Nifty has almost lost 7 per cent and it's sure heading further down.

With a war like situation on the Korean Peninsula, weak economic data in India and the fragile political situation in the country, it would be foolhardy to invest now, given that you could get stocks cheaper in the next few months.

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