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Indian stock markets gain over 2%
Tue, 10 Jan Closing

Indian stock markets were in an extremely buoyant mood right from the word go. Index heavyweights traded firm throughout the day and finally finished the day on a strong positive note. The BSE-Sensex ended higher to the tune of 350 points (a 2.2% gain), while NSE-Nifty closed higher by 107 points (2.3% gain). The BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices also piled up the gains as they inched higher by 2.2% and 2.6% respectively. Stocks from the realty space stole the show while IT stocks saw relatively limited gains. However, all indices closed the day in the positive.

Most Asian indices closed in the green today and European indices are seeing a similar trend currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.72 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Indian markets were buoyant on the back of rating firm Moody's upgrading India's short-term foreign currency rating from speculative to investment grade. This move will help domestic companies to raise funds from overseas at cheaper rates. This move comes after the rating agency's earlier move upgrading the credit rating of Indian government bonds.

High prevailing interest rates and greater input costs have caused Indian car manufacturers to see muted sales growth. However post the festival season car sales have seen two months of consecutive sales rises. Car sales in India rose by 8.5% in December the industry is slowly rebounding from record falls in sales in late 2011. Auto makers sold 159,325 cars in December, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Total sales for the fiscal year so far fell 2.3%. Sales of trucks and buses, a leading indicator of economic activity in the country, rose 14.5% in December from the previous year to 72,192 vehicles.

SIAM is however not very optimistic going forward as the terrain remains rocky. It sees car sales just about breaking even in FY12, cutting its forecasts for the third time from the 16-18% it originally predicted. At best the industry body expects car sales to increased by 2%. This is in sharp contrast to the 30% growth rate the industry saw in FY11. Either way, it expects demand to move up slightly by FY13 to around 11-13%.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed four banks namely Yes Bank and Bank of Maharashtra, City Union Bank and ING Vysya Bank to import precious metals. This brings the total number of banks allowed to import bullion into the country to 35. Trading in gold is regulated in the country and the government allows certain public sector and private banks to trade in bullion at the wholesale and retail level.

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