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After opening the day on a negative note, the Indian indices continued to remain under pressure in the post noon trading session. Sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks from the telecom, IT and banking sectors bearing the maximum brunt.
The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 163 points (down 0.6%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 42 points (down 0.5%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.9% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.1%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 30,337 levels. Silver price, per kilogram, is trading at Rs 41,500 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,032 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 66.37 to the US$.
As per a leading financial daily, growth in India's manufacturing sector slowed sharply in April. The Nikkei/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a four-month low of 50.5 in April from March's 52.4. This was marked as the lowest reading of the year where the PMI neared the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
The contraction was seen on the back of weak demand. The pace of growth in both domestic and foreign orders dwindled, pushing firms to reduce output. The output sub-index fell to a two-month low of 51.0 from 54.2.
Weak demand forced firms to absorb much of the increase seen in input costs and kept selling prices subdued.
The above data has reinforced the views that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have to cut interest rates again in coming months. One shall note that the RBI cut its repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% on April 5, its lowest in more than five years. It also raised the reverse repo rate to ensure more availability of cash in the banking system. One of our premium editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp titled 'How Important is the RBI Rate Cut?' shares views on the impact of RBI rate cut on Indian companies (subscription required). Make sure you go through this interesting read.
Stocks in the automobile space are trading on a mixed note with Escorts and Tube Investments leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki has posted a 13.3% YoY rise in total sales in April at 1,26,569 units.
The company's domestic sales increased by 16.2% YoY in the month of April at 1,17,045 units.
The company stated that sales of compact segment, comprising Swift, Estilo, Ritz, Dzire and Baleno increased by 8% YoY to 45,700 units during the month. Sales of compact sedan Dzire Tour increased by 73.8% YoY during the month while that of mid-sized sedan Ciaz rose by 22.3% YoY to 5,702 units during the month.
However, sales of mini-segment cars including, Alto and WagonR declined 9.9% to 31,906 units compared with 35,403 units in the year-ago period.
Sales of utility vehicles including Gypsy, Grand Vitara, Ertiga, S-Cross and recently launched compact SUV Vitara Brezza surged over threefold during the month to 16,044 units from 4,452 units. Besides, sales of vans, Omni and Eeco, rose 20.3% YoY to 14,520 units.
Exports declined by 13.7% YoY during the month to 9,524 units as against 11,039 units a year ago.
On a separate note, Maruti Suzuki is planning to add around 323 more dealership outlets this year including 123 Nexa showrooms, which is catering to premium segment of the passenger car market.
The company has also stated that it will introduce two more models - Baleno with a 1-litre booster jet engine and compact SUV Ignis - by October this year through the Nexa outlets. The Nexa dealers have sold more than 70,000 cars so far since the format was launched, with a huge waiting period for the Baleno. Currently, the company has around 1,800 outlets across the country.
Maruti Suzuki is India's largest passenger car company. In its results for the fourth quarter and full year ended March 2016, the company reported a 12% YoY growth in sales, while net profits fell by 12% YoY. Here is our analysis of the March quarter and FY16 results (subscription required).
Presently the stock of Maruti Suzuki is trading up by 0.4%.
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