Major Asian stock markets are closed today on account of the New Year. The first day of the New Year witnessed lack of enthusiasm in the Indian stock markets that opened in the red. The BSE-Sensex was down by 80 points (0.3%) and the NSE-Nifty was down by 31 points (0.4%). The sectoral indices opened on a mixed note with power and banking stocks leading the losses. However, stocks in the realty and auto segment were trading firm. The midcap and small cap stocks opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.3% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.16 to the US dollar.
As per the latest economic statistics, the output of eight crucial industries - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer, steel, cement and electricity has grown to a five-month high of 6.7 % in November 2014, marginally higher than 6.3 % in the previous month. In November last year, the output had risen 3.2 %. For the first eight months of the fiscal year 2015, the core sector output was up 4.6% as compared to 4.1% in the corresponding period last year. However, one must note that there is no direct relationship between the core sector and industrial production. This is despite the fact that the core sector has almost 38 % weight in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
As per the official data, the country's fiscal deficit during the first eight months of the fiscal year 2015 stands at Rs 5.25 lakh crore. At these levels, the fiscal deficit is 99% of the full year target and 1% higher than the deficit in the corresponding year last year. One of the key reasons cited behind high fiscal deficit is lower than expected tax receipts. This poses a serious challenge to the government to maintain its target of 4.1% fiscal deficit this year. To compensate for the shortfall, the government is likely to rely on higher dividend from PSUs, apart from the deep budget cuts of various ministries