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Indian Markets Trade in the Green
Fri, 11 Mar 11:30 am

After opening flat today, the Indian Markets registered some gains Initially in the morning only to fall back toward the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks from the IT and FMCG sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 19 points (up 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading flat. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.1% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading down 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 66.97 to the US$.

Stocks in the automobile space are trading on a positive note with Maharashtra Scooters and TVS Motors witnessing maximum buying interest. As per a leading financial daily, the auto trade body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), has lowered the growth estimate for passenger vehicle sales in the next fiscal year to 11% from an earlier forecast of 12%. The estimate was revised and lowered as the government has raised taxes on car sales last month.

In the Union Budget 2016-17 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley imposed a sales levy up to 4% on new passenger vehicles and a 1% luxury tax on cars priced higher than Rs 1 million.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) regarding this said that the higher taxes will be a dampener for passenger vehicle sales and there may be a retardation in growth. It also said, sales could further fall to 9% if the monsoon rains are poor as that would hurt incomes and sentiment in rural areas.

SIAM had earlier estimated sales of passenger cars and utility vehicles to grow by as much as 12% in the upcoming fiscal year starting 1st April, as against the 8% growth estimated for the current year.

Moreover, on a separate note, domestic passenger car sales witnessed a decline of 4.2% in February on a YoY basis. It was reported that sales fell to 1,64,496 units in February, from 1,71,703 units in the same month last year.

The fall was witnessed on the back of weak consumer sentiments and disruption in supplies in northern India on account of the agitation by the Jat community. Further, the ban on sale of large diesel vehicles in NCR (national capital region) also dragged the sales lower. In a The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium (subscription required) article, we have explained the impact of such rulings that are likely to change the long-term product development plans and strategies of automobile companies.

Stocks in the steel sector are trading mixed with Tayo Rolls leading the losses and Maharashtra Seamless leading the gains. Tata Steel plans to commence integrated commercial production of the first phase of the 3-million tonne steel plant in Odisha by September. Further, the company is keen to keep the cost of this project below the projected Rs 250 billion.

For the production to start by the abovementioned time, the company is gradually synchronizing integrated steel plant components like blast furnace, coke oven, sinter plant, captive power units and hot rolling, among others in stages.

The timeline and cost for this project was revised in 2011 in the wake of delay in land acquisition, which has pushed back the project by 4 years. It is expected that with the Kalinganagar first phase, the capacity of Tata Steel will go up to 13 million tonnes (MT) in India.

We believe that starting of production from Kalinganagar will help Tata Steel to increase the production volumes as well as aid its profitability. Further, the minimum Import price (MIP) imposed for six months on 173 steel products also works in favour for Tata Steel. This is because the Imposition of MIP is likely to result in firming up of domestic steel prices and improve realisations. To know our view on the stock, you can read our analysis of the third quarter results here (subscription required). Presently the stock of Tata Steel is trading down by 0.5%.

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