Volatility plagued the Indian bourses during the last two hours of trade as they oscillated to either side of yesterday's close. Stocks from the oil & gas, auto and metals space are trading firm, however, technology stocks are trading lower.
BSE-Sensex is trading higher by about 10 points (up 0.1%), while the
BSE-Sensex is trading lower by about 1 point (down 0.01%). The BSE Midcap index is trading lower by 14 points (down 0.2%) while the BSE Small cap index is trading higher by 10 points (up 0.13%). The rupee is trading at 45.16 to the US dollar.
Metal stocks are trading firm led by Hindalco, JSW Steel, SAIL and Nalco. A leading business daily has reported that the management of Tata Steel's European subsidiary, Tata Steel Europe is expecting input costs to rise on the back of higher raw material prices. However, it will be passing on these price rises to customers from the month of April 2011 as it believes that there is no option but to do so in order to protect its profitability. During the quarter ended December 2010, the company's consolidated operation margins slightly improved on the back of a strong operating performance by the standalone business. However, the European operations were under pressure as operating profits declined by 40% YoY on the back of higher raw material prices as well as lower deliveries. As for the forecast on raw material prices, Tata Steel Europe's management believes that the prices should stabalise at high levels during the year.
Telecom services stocks are trading higher with Tata Communication, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communication leading the pack of gainers. GSM operators namely Vodafone Essar, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular continue to rake in the most number of subscribers onto their network through mobile number portability (MNP) that started last month. Vodafone Essar leads the pack gaining as many as 1.7 lakh customers while Idea Cellular ranked second gaining 1.5 lakh subscribers. The market leader, Bharti Airtel closely follows suit with a net gain of 1.35 lakh subscribers through portability. On the CDMA front, there has been a mass exodus with subscribers abandoning Reliance Communication, Tata Teleservices and BSNL. The operators continue to stick to their stand that MNP will not be a significant game changer for the industry.