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Markets start 2014 on a flattish note
Wed, 1 Jan Closing

While the markets opened with enthusiasm on the first day of the New Year, the last trading session proved to be a drag. On the back of lower volumes, the markets closed flat for the day. Barring sectors such as IT, Capital goods and Oil and Gas, stocks across the remaining sectors were in favor today. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices have outperformed and stood higher by 0.45% and 1.44% respectively. The BSE Sensex closed lower by 30 points and the NSE-Nifty was seen down by 2 points.

On the global front, the Asian indices closed the day on a mixed note and few of the European indices have opened on a pessimistic note. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.86 to the dollar at the time of writing.

All the Telecom stocks have closed the day in green with Himachal Futuristic and Reliance Communications leading the pack of gainers for the day.

As per leading financial news daily, Idea Cellular has announced a new "i-Plan" for its postpaid customers. The plan would allow them to choose, create and customize their monthly plans from a bouquet of voice and data packs. By virtue of this new plan, the customers can choose an array of rental plans and range of packs offering voice, SMS and data benefits. Moreover, the company is also offering add-on packs which will enable users to create best suited plan.

According to the management, the postpaid customer segment is maturing and comprises of high ARPU customers with different needs and requirements. That's where "i-Plan" will come to huge benefit to the user. Moreover, the new plan is available for all new and existing postpaid subscribers.

With new growth plans in place, going forward, the growth is expected to come on the data side. Even on the voice front, they do expect growth albeit not at the stellar levels seen in the past. This would be driven by increase in active subscribers as well as by increasing penetration on the rural side. Idea stock was up by 0.8%.

Stocks from the Automobile sector closed the day on a mixed note with Tube Investments and Hero Motocorp leading the pack of gainers whereas TVS Motors and Mah. Scooters witnessing maximum selling pressures during the day.

As per a leading news daily, the automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra has reported 12.6% decline in its total sales at 39,611 units in December 2013. The company had sold 45,297 units in the same month a year ago. The domestic sales for the month of December stood at 36,881 units as against 42,307 units in the same month a year ago witnessing a 12.8% decline. The total sales of passenger vehicles also stood lower at 16,436 units during the month as against 22,761 in December 2012, down 27.8%. That said, the four-wheeler commercial vehicles reported 5.05% growth at 14,399 units as against 13,706 units in December 2012.

As cited by the management, subdued sales growth came on the back of sustained deceleration in economic activity and consequent sluggishness in consumer and business sentiments. Nevertheless, the management believes that the worst is over for the automobile industry; although an immediate turnaround is unlikely.

Going forward, Mahindra & Mahindra intends to keep up its pace of new launches both in the automotive and farm equipment sector over the next three years as well as managing capacities. M&M stock was up by 0.6%.

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