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Smallcaps in the limelight.
Tue, 4 Jan 11:30 am

Indian indices are trading weak on profit booking in heavy weights over the previous two hours of trade. Stocks from banking and auto space are trading weak while stocks from FMCG and oil & gas space are trading firm.

The BSE-Sensex is down by 74 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 25 points below the dotted line. BSE Midcap is trading flat while BSE Small cap index is trading 0.2% above yesterday’s closing. The rupee is trading at 44.82 to the US dollar.

Consumer Goods stocks are trading firm led by HUL and Marico. As per a leading financial daily, Dabur has completed the acquisition of the US based personal care firm, Namaste Group for US$ 100 m (approximately Rs 4.5 bn) in an all cash deal. It may be recalled that Dabur had announced in November its acquisition of Namaste Laboratories LLC and its three subsidiary companies -- Hair Rejuvenation & Revitalisation Nigeria Limited, Healing Hair Laboratories International, LLC, and Urban Laboratories International, LLC along with its South African arm. The acquisition marks Dabur's entry into the fast-growing US$ 1.5 bn ethnic hair care products market in the US, Europe and Africa. This acquisition is expected to help the company consolidate its position in the African markets. At the time of writing this, Dabur India is trading up by 1.84%.

Steel stocks are trading mixed with Tata Sponge and Bhushan Steel leading the gains. However, Hindustan Zinc and Adhunik Metaliks are trading weak. Amidst rising input cost, major steel players like SAIL, JSW Steel and Uttam Galva have decided to hike steel prices in the range of 4-5%. Increase in coking coal and iron ore prices have led to a surge in steel prices. Prices of coking coal have increased by 8% to US $225 per ton during the quarter and are further expected to increase to US$250 per ton in the next few quarters. Following a hike in steel prices, cars and consumer durables are set to get dearer this year. However, considering there is strong demand for both cars and white goods in India, the price rise can be passed on to the customers. Majority of the auto makers have already geared up to increase prices by 1-3% across models. In fact some like Tata Motors have already done so. Even the consumer goods manufacturers are considering a price rise in ACs, refrigerators, washing machines and micro wave ovens, as steel is the key ingredient used to make cabinets, frames and compressors.

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