The BSE-Sensex is down by 87 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by 32 points. BSE Mid cap index is down 0.2% while the BSE Small cap index is up by 0.07% respectively. The rupee is trading at 51.03 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks are trading in the red led by Jindal Steel and Steel Authority of India (SAIL). According to a leading financial daily, steel companies like SAIL have increased the prices for both long and flat products by up to Rs 1,500 a tonne. The hike in prices is to partially offset the increase in cost of production due to hike in freight rates. Steel makers have also increased prices on the back of good demand from construction and automobile sectors. Railways had effected a hike in freight charges in the first week of March which impacted the cost of transportation of iron ore by up to Rs 1,400 a tonne. At the same time, hike in excise duty in the budget to 12% from 10% earlier also impacted the cost by up to Rs 1,000 per tonne. Steel makers generally hike the prices at the beginning of the month analysing the demand-supply situation.
FMCG stocks are trading weak led by Jubilant Foodworks and Colgate Palmolive. According to a leading financial daily, Hindustan Unilever has tied up with Reliance Industries to set up a chain of beauty and wellness formats across the country. The beauty and wellness formats will be started in Reliance Hypermarkets in May. These will begin in Mumbai and be expanded to 40 hypermarkets across the country in the first phase of three months. Reliance, which is planning to open a mart every week, will add this format in each store. The aim is to bring these products to the masses. The two companies have developed an innovative concept of assisted selling under which specialists in areas such as skin care, hair care and ayurveda who will be trained mostly by Unilever, will help consumers make the right choices while buying products.