Indian stock markets traded in the red during last two hours of trade after a weak opening. All the sectoral indices were in the red led by capital goods and metal stocks.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 157 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 50 points. However, BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices are trading down by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 52.79 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks are mainly trading in the red led by Archies Ltd and Camlin Ltd. As per a leading daily, FMCG companies have hiked the prices of their products. P&G and Jyothy Labs have effected price increase of 5% -10% across the board. However, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) raised prices of selective products like toilet soaps. Companies like Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), Dabur and ITC Ltd have not yet increased the prices but are expected to follow their peers soon. The major reason for hiking prices is cited as increasing cost of raw material. Palm oil which is a key raw material for FMCG companies continues to be highly priced. Packaging materials too have been costly lately.
Cement stocks are trading in the red led by Ambuja Cement and Samruddhi Cement. According to a leading financial daily, cement companies like Associated Cement Companies (ACC) and have decided to cut prices of cement by Rs 25 to 50 per bag in Himachal Pradesh with immediate effect. Cement was costly by Rs 50 to 75 in the state as compared to Punjab and Haryana even though cement plants are located in the state, enjoying several incentives and benefits. The chief minister of Himachal Pradesh had earlier written to Prime Minister to declare cement as controlled item under the Essential Commodities Act.