The Indian stock markets initially opened the day on a positive note. However, they couldn't hold their ground and moved lower shortly after opening. The key indices moved progressively lower and finally closed well below the dotted line in the final hour of trade. The BSE-Sensex closed in the negative, lower by around 91 points (0.5%). The NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 36 points (0.6%). The smaller indices also had a weak day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index closed 1.1% lower and the BSE Small Cap index closed 1.2% lower. Realty and Power stocks closed lower. Consumer durables and IT stocks closed higher.
As regards global markets, Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices also opened the day mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.29 to the dollar at the time of writing.
L&T Construction announced that it has bagged orders worth Rs 20.8 bn across various business segments during February and March. The company's buildings and factories division has secured orders worth around Rs 14 bn for the construction of residential towers in cities of North India. Its power transmission segment has bagged new orders worth Rs 5.9 bn. This includes those for electrical and mechanical work for seven underground stations and associated tunnel sections of North-South and East-West corridors of Bangalore Metrorail Corporation Phase-I. The company has also bagged an order from Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh for laying a 220 kV underground cable between Malkaram and Ghanapur substation to Moulali substation. Plus, L&T Construction has secured additional orders worth Rs 1.1 bn from various ongoing projects across water and solar and infrastructure segments.
With only a fortnight left for the financial year to end, banks are working aggressively to meet the central bank's projected deposit and credit growth. In the second-last fortnight of the fiscal year ended March 8, 2013, the YoY, deposit growth stood at 13.15%, short of the RBI's projected 15% for the whole year. Lending growth came in slightly better at 15.4%, but still short of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projected level of 16%. Having fallen short of the annual business growth projection, banks are raising deposits aggressively. Deposits of about Rs 1 trillion were raised during the fortnight. After witnessing slow growth in deposits throughout the year, banks are aggressively offering high interest rate deposits. The high cost of deposits is expected to dampen banks' margins in the near term.