The Indian stock markets witnessed a volatile trading session today. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to bounce above yesterday's closing, the benchmark indices gave in to the selling pressure and closed in the red. Among sectoral indices, the ones that led the losses include FMCG, auto and oil & gas.
The Sensex today closed lower by around 170 points (0.62%), while the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 46 points (0.55%). However, the midcap and smallcap stocks witnessed strong buying interest and as a result, both the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices closed higher by about 0.39% and 1.10% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.36 to the US dollar.
Private sector bank stocks majorly closed on a firm footing today with Dhanlaxmi Bank and Axis Bank reporting significant gains. India's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has announced its financial results for the quarter and year ended 2014-15. During the quarter, the company's total income increased by 21.7% YoY from Rs 1,018 million to Rs 1,238 million. The operating profits witnessed a rise of 23.6%, almost in line with the topline growth. At the bottomline level, net profit increased by 18.4% YoY from Rs 184 million in 4QFY14 to Rs 218 million in 4QFY15. The stock of Axis Bank closed higher by 3.3% today.
Cement sector stocks closed on a mixed note today with Birla Corporation and Ambuja Cements leading the gains. However, ACC Ltd and India Cements closed on a mixed note. Ambuja Cements has announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 2015. During the quarter, the company's standalone net sales stood at 24,246 million, down 8.1% on a year-on-year basis. The drop in the topline was driven by a 9% YoY decline in volume sales on account of muted cement demand. While there was an improvement in the net cement realisations, the cost pressures resulted in EBITDA compression of about 240 basis points from 21.8% in 1QCY14 to 19.4% in 1QCY15. At the bottomline level, net profit plunged 38.9% YoY on account of poor operating and non-operating performance. The stock of Ambuja Cements closed higher by 3.5% today.