Indian equity markets had a rather volatile trading session today. The indices began the day's proceedings on a cautious note and subsequent trading hours saw them oscillate to either side of Friday's close. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by 12 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 10 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either and both closed marginally lower. Losses were largely seen in banking and IT stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.55 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Engineering stocks closed mixed today. While BHEL and Opto Circuits found favour, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Voltas closed into the red. As per a leading business daily, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has recorded a mere 1% YoY growth in turnover for the financial year FY13. Net profits during the period fell by 8% YoY. While the company's order inflow jumped 42% YoY, it has achieved its highest addition of generating capacity of 10,340 MW during the year. Performance for the year has been muted and considering the slowdown in the industry, the next 2-3 quarters could be challenging for BHEL. However, the strong growth in order book is an encouraging sign as it signifies that the overall ordering environment is improving.
Auto stocks closed firm today with the key gainers being TVS Motors, Tube Investments and Tata Motors. FY13 has been a poor year for the Indian auto industry on account of a sharp deceleration in volumes. Given the slowdown in the economy, firm interest rates and fuel price hikes, demand during the year was considerably subdued. As per a leading business daily, at the start of the financial year, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had projected a growth of 13% for the industry, but most players have ended FY13 with a contraction in sales. Performance was poor across segments such as medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCVs), two-wheelers and passenger cars. The only silver lining in the cloud has been the impressive growth seen in utility vehicles. Unless there is a recovery in the GDP growth, the next few months are also likely to be subdued for the sector. That said, growth prospects for the industry still remain strong over the longer term.