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After opening firm, the Indian indices witnessed some volatility and finally slipped below the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks from the IT and telecom sector witnessing maximum selling pressure. Realty and oil & gas stocks are leading the gains.
The BSE Sensex is trading down 50 points (down 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 11 points (down 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading marginally higher and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.3%. The rupee is trading at 66.53 to the US$.
Automobile stocks are trading mixed with Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Bajaj Auto has reported a marginal decline in its total sales during the month of December. Sales were recorded at 2,89,003 units in December as against 2,89,244 units during the corresponding period a year ago.
The company's commercial vehicles sales came in down by 4% during the concerned period on a year on year (YoY) basis. They were recorded at 41,221 units as against 43,011 units in the year ago period. Further, exports were down by 12% YoY at 1,45,477 units as against 1,66,134 units a year ago. However, motorcycle sales during the month increased by 1% on a YoY basis.
Bajaj Auto is one of the leading two & three wheeler manufacturers in India. While the December sales declined marginally, we believe the future prospects for the company remain strong. As Radhika Pandit, Managing Editor, ValuePro states, "Although Bajaj Auto has no presence in the scooters segment, we believe there are various growth triggers for the company over the next couple of years." You can read the report here to know more (subscription required) about our views on the stock. Presently the stock of Bajaj Auto is trading up by 0.4%.
Stocks in the food and tobacco space are trading on a mixed note with Wadala Commodities leading the gainers and GSK Consumers leading the losses. As per an article in Economic Times, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has urged Prime Minister to consider 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail of food products. The move has been encouraged as the ministry believes that it would benefit farmers as well as common man.
One must note that India currently permits 51% FDI in the multi-brand retail sector. Moreover, the NDA government is opposed to allowing FDI in multi-brand retailing. However, it has not yet scrapped the policy approved by the previous UPA regime.
The ministry pointed out that permitting 100% FDI in multi-brand retail food products that are produced and manufactured in India will aid in the much needed revival in the sector. Also, it would help in development of infrastructure such as cold chains whichare critical for the food processing sector. The move would benefit farmers with increased price realisation, reduction in wastages, job creation. Apart from that, it would act as an incentive for global players in the sector to start operations in India.
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