The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 34 points and NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 15 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading down by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 54.41 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks are trading weak led by Maharashtra Scooters and Tube Investments. As per a leading daily, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is looking at observing "no production days" at its two plants to deal with the slowdown in the sales of its tractors. M&M had earlier taken a production cut in March last year with the same objective. At present, M&M manufactures tractors at the newly started Andhra Pradesh plant along with Jaipur, Rudrapur, Nagpur and Mumbai. Of these, M&M will have no production days at Jaipur for 5 days and Rudrapur for 2 days during the period from March 24 to March 31, 2013. It may be noted, that the company's domestic tractor sales declined 4.74% in April-February this fiscal to 1,96,045 units compared to 2,05,810 units sold during the same period last year. The overall tractor industry too is facing a downturn with the industry reporting a negligible growth of 0% to 1% in the current year.
Paint stocks are trading in the red led by Kansai Nerolac and Asahi Songwon. As per a leading daily, Asian Paints is looking at buying 51% stake in modern kitchen maker, Sleek. The board has approved the transaction. Sleek is a maker and distributor of kitchen and kitchen components. It manufactures and sells wire baskets, cabinets, appliances and accessories. Sleek has 30 showrooms and strong dealer network of 250 dealers spread across the country. The transaction is expected to help Asian Paints venture into the home improvement space. The management feels that the modern kitchen space has huge potential to grow in India.