Led by persistent buying Indian stock markets continued to trade strong in the post noon trading session. Most of the sectors were trading in green barring stocks from the IT and auto sectors. Stocks from the oil and gas and FMCG sectors were among the leading gainers in the pack.
Most of the steel stocks are trading in the green, with Jindal Saw Ltd and Jindal Steel being among the leading gainers. As per a financial daily, according to steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, Steel Authority of India (SAIL)'s expansion is likely to be completed by FY14. Reportedly, SAIL has commenced modernisation and expansion at its five integrated plants and Salem steel plant to enhance crude steel production capacity. This step is expected to increase the capacity from 12.8 m tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 21.4 mtpa. The expansion cost is expected to be around Rs 620 bn. As part of the expansion program, work has already been completed at Salem steel plant, but it is still going on in SAIL's integrated steel plants located at Bhilai, Bokaro, Rourkela, Durgapur and Burnpur. Further, the company has also made a Rs 103 bn provision for investment in existing mines and development of Rowghat mine. SAIL is trading up by 0.4%.
Majority of the automobile stocks are trading in the green with Hero MotoCorp and Maharashtra Scooters leading the gains. However, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are among the major losers. As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has taken a decision to suspend production of petrol cars at its Gurgaon plant from 9th March 2013 in light of a downturn in vehicle demand. In February, the company recorded a 7.9% decline in sales to 109,567 units with the domestic passenger car sales dropping by 10.9% to 83,865 units. However, MSI exports were up by 2.8% to 11,612 units for the month. As part of its long-term growth strategy, the company plans to develop twin facilities in Gujarat. In the first phase, MSI will set up a plant with 250,000 cars capacity at a cost of Rs 40 bn. The company has planned to launch new models in India and will be exporting more cars from its Manesar facility and the upcoming Gujarat facility.