I generally avoid a macro view on stocks. It is quite difficult (for me) to analyse a macro event and then come to a stock specific conclusion.
However there seems to be broad trend of dollar depreciation (that not news :) ) due to variety of reasons – subprime, US current account deficit etc etc. A drop in the dollar does not always translate into a rise in the rupee as ours is a managed currency. However inflation and its impact on elections is a powerful motivation for the government to appreciate the currency (imports such as oil become cheaper).
Recently inflation hit 6%+ and it is quite likely that one of policy decision could be to allow the rupee to appreciate. Sudden or slow appreciation? I don’t know. However an appreciating rupee impacts my stock strategy as follows
- IT stocks could get hit further. I doesn’t matter that some are selling at 2-3 time PE and are being priced for bankruptcy. The market is not rational always. If IT stocks could sell for 100 times earnings, they could drop further.
- Oil companies could benefit ..the key word is could. For all you know, the government could drop the prices and pass the benefit of the rupee appreciation to the consumer.
- Export based industry such as textiles etc could be in for a tough time. Makes sense to find the strongest players and invest only in those companies which can pass some of the currency impact to the customers.
I am not changing my stock specific plan drastically. No moving out of export dependent companies and moving into import driven companies and all that. It is quite diffcult for me to figure out the exact impact of such macro factors in the long run.
I am not a contrarian by nature, but going against convential wisdom has been very profitable for me. So as it becomes an accepted wisdom that IT companies or other export driven companies and their stocks are doomed forever, I plan to look more closely at them (and buy if I find them attractive and oversold). and I will not blame you if you feel I am out of my mind to think of IT or export driven companies. I am now very used to that feedback :)