Indian equity markets had a rather volatile trading session today. They began the day's proceedings on a very shaky note and the subsequent hours saw them hovering on either side of the dotted line. Selling activity intensified in the final hours pushing the indices into the red. While the BSE Sensex closed lower by 27 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 6 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as both closed marginally lower. While healthcare stocks found favour, IT and FMCG stocks were at the receiving end.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened firm. The rupee was trading at Rs 53.69 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Tata Motors and TVS Motors found favour, Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, the Indian auto industry continued to post subdued sales volume data for January 2013. Domestic passenger car sales declined 12.4% to 173,420 units in January this year. Further, as per SIAM, total two-wheeler did better as sales increased 8.4% to 1,206,937 units. In this, motorcycle sales grew 7.4% to 886,527 units. Total sales of commercial vehicles declined 9.5% to 63,218 units. Total sales of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 5.3% to 1,561,104 units in January 2013 against 1,482,437 units in January 2012. Slowdown has gripped the Indian auto industry for quite a few quarters now. Most of the auto companies have declared results for the third quarter ended December 2012. While performance at the topline level was quite poor on account of tepid demand, there was considerable pressure on margins as well.
G E Shipping announced results for the third quarter ended December 2012. Consolidated topline came in flat on a YoY basis. While the shipping segment of the company grew by 10% YoY, there was a marginal drop of 2% in the revenues for the offshore segment. The company's revenue days were up by 5% during the quarter. However, there was a significant fall in time charter yields in both the crude carriers and the dry bulk segment and this affected its topline growth. Operating margins expanded by 8.3% on the back of savings on most of the cost heads. Strong operating performance and gains on the forex front helped the company post 119% YoY growth in consolidated bottomline during the quarter. Standalone bottomline came in higher by 162% YoY while the topline grew by 11% during the quarter. Consolidated profits for the nine month period grew 62% YoY on the back of a 5% growth in the topline. The stock closed lower by 2% today.