The Indian markets ended the day on a firm note with the BSE-Sensex closing higher by about 104 points or 0.4%, while the NSE-Nifty ended higher by about 34 points or 0.4%. Stocks from the FMCG sector were the least preferred today, while those from the consumer durables and information technology spaces were in demand. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap ended the day on a weak note.
Asian stocks ended the day on a firm note, while stocks in Europe were trading weak. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.61 to the dollar at the time of writing.
FMCG stocks ended the day on a weak note with ITC, Dabur and Colgate leading the pack of losers. FMCG behemoth ITC announced its results recently. The company reported a revenue growth of 2% YoY for the quarter ended December 2014, while profits grew by 11% YoY. With a growth of less than a percentage points on a YoY basis, it's the cigarette business which led to the overall slow growth given that it forms about half of the company's revenues. However, this business' profits (EBIT) grew at a faster pace of 9% YoY during the quarter. As per the company, the volumes were affected due to higher excise duties and VAT. The management has stated that the full impact of the latter was felt during the quarter. As for the other businesses, namely the paper board, paper and packaging segment, the same was impacted largely due to slowdown in the company's FMCG business. The stock of ITC ended the day lower by about 5%.
Information technology stocks ended the day on a weak note led by Hexaware Technologies, Infosys and HCL Technologies. IT major Wipro's management discussed how some of its clients from the energy space have been cutting back expenses - especially those that are related to the oil industry as prices have declined by more than half in less than a year. As per the management, even if the revenues from this space were to decline substantially, it would not impact the overall business to a big extent. In any case, the company is working on offsetting this impact by increasing revenues from other segments. In the latest quarter, Wipro's 'energy and utilities' segment contributed to about 16% of the company's revenues. Some of the other segments of similar size include 'global media & telecom', 'manufacturing & hi-tech' and 'retail, consumer goods & transportation'.