Indian equity markets had a rather volatile trading session today. While the indices began the day's proceedings on a firm note, profit booking at higher levels in the subsequent hours led to the erosion of all gains. Thereafter, alternate bouts of buying and selling kept the indices oscillating to either side of Friday's close and this continued till the final trading hour. Both the BSE-Sensex and the NSE-Nifty closed flat today. The BSE Mid Cap also closed flat, while the BSE Small Cap closed marginally higher. Gains were largely seen in auto and IT stocks, while oil and gas stocks were at the receiving end.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have also opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.89 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Steel stocks closed mixed today. While JSW Steel and SAIL found favour, Tata Steel closed into the red. As per a leading business daily, steel major Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) witnessed an adverse impact on volumes during 9mFY13. Sales were down 3% YoY during the period. This poor show was attributed to subdued demand for both long and flat products coupled with rising competition. Long products are mostly used in the construction sector, while flat steels are used in automobile and consumer goods among others. Given that these industries have been impacted by the economic slowdown, SAIL has not been spared either. As far as production figures are concerned, the company produced 9.25 m tonnes of saleable steel in 9mFY13 compared to 9.1 m tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Shriram Transport Finance announced results for the third quarter ended December 2012. Income from operations grew by 16% YoY in 3QFY13 as assets under management grew by a healthy 21%. Net interest margins decreased to 7.5% during the nine month period (8% in 9mFY12). Other income almost quadrupled during the quarter. Net profit grew by 19.4% YoY in 3QFY13 on account of higher other income. The growth came in despite the rise in interest costs. On the NPA front, gross NPAs increased to 2.89%, while the net NPA ratio increased to 0.63% in 9mFY13. The stock closed higher by 1% today.