There was no respite from the selling spree during the closing stages as indices in the Indian stock market tanked further and closed deep in the red on the back of RBI rate hikes. The BSE-Sensex lost in the region of 460 points whereas NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 140 points (down 2.4%). Similar story was repeated across BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices as both shed in the region of 2% each. There was no advance to decline ratio to speak of as almost all the stocks in the BSE Sensex closed the day in the negative.
Except for China and Japan, almost all other major Asian indices also closed the day in the red. Europe too is trading in the red currently. The rupee was seen trading at Rs 44.5 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Today's session was almost entirely dominated by the RBI monetary policy as every other news item took a backseat. While the fact that the central bank would resort to a rate hike was never in doubt, the quantum of the same perhaps left quite a few investors rattled. The RBI raised the rates at which it lends to (repo rate) banks by 0.5%. Thus, the repo rate now stands at 7.25% from 6.75% previously. In terms of quantum of hike, this is one of the highest since July 2010. The RBI reiterated that inflation is a huge threat that cannot be ignored. It poses significant risks to future growth. Thus, the central bank is willing to sacrifice some short term growth. This is in order to make sure that the long term Indian growth story stays intact. The hike obviously didn't go down well with investors and they went on a selling spree, causing significant damage to the indices in the process.
Marico was amongst the few companies that closed the day in the positive. The stock closed higher by around 1%. The optimism could be a result of a decent financial performance during the quarter and full year ended March 31, 2011. The company's profits for the full year saw a growth of 24% YoY on the back of an 18% growth in topline. While its operating margins fell by a solitary percentage point, a 53% jump in other income and extraordinary income to the tune of Rs 490 m ensured that bottomline growth came up to attractive levels. Net profit for the fourth quarter grew by 40% YoY on the back of a 24% YoY growth in topline.