After notching gains in 2 consecutive trading sessions, Indian equity markets were subject to profit booking today. The indices began the day's proceedings on a cautious note and thereby moved into the red on the back of persistent selling activity across index heavyweights. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the Sensex today closed lower by 169 points, the NSE-Nifty today closed lower by 55 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as they closed lower by 1% each. Losses were largely seen in auto and metals stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.80 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Most auto stocks closed weak today with the key losers being TVS Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Motors. As per a leading business daily, Tata Motors reported a 14% YoY decline in global sales for the month of December 2012. Sales volumes were at 98,968 units as compared to 114,920 units sold in the corresponding month in the previous year. While the company has been facing rough weather in the domestic market, volumes of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) were tepid too. JLR posted wholesale volume growth of 4.2% YoY for the month. Total passenger vehicle sales fell by 23% YoY. As far as India is concerned, volume growth in the auto industry has been hampered in FY13 so far on account of slowdown in GDP growth, firm interest rates and higher fuel prices. This led the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to slash its growth forecasts for the industry for FY13.
Steel stocks closed in the red today with the key losers being Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India (SAIL). As per a leading business daily, steel prices are likely to firm up in the coming months on account of pick up in domestic demand and rise in international prices. The latter has been on account of increase in input costs. International costs of iron ore have gone up in the recent past to touch US$ 150 a tonne. This has been due to the sudden spurt in demand from Chinese steel makers amidst subdued global supply.