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Sensex Continues Downtrend; Metal Stocks Drag
Fri, 5 May 01:30 pm

After opening the day on a negative note, share markets in India have continued the downtrend and are trading in red. Except for stocks in the consumer durables sector, all sectoral indices are trading in red. Stocks in the auto sector and stocks in the metal sector are leading the losses.

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 295 points (down 1%), and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 82 points (down 0.9%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 1.3%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.9% The rupee is trading at 64.27 to the US$.

In news from stocks in the auto sector. Tata Motors share price is among the top losers on the bourses today after the company's subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reported a fall in sales for April.

In April, JLR recorded retail sales of 40,385 units, which was down 2.3% compared to the same month a year ago.

According to the company, the decrease in sales was seen due to two factors. In the UK, customers purchased vehicles before the increase in vehicle tax on 1st April. In addition, the run-out of the previous Discovery model accounted for a year-on-year decrease in Land Rover sales.

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On geographical basis, retail sales were seen up in North America (32.5%), China (10.1%) and Europe (2.7%) on year-on-year (yoy) basis. Decline was witnessed in United Kingdom (UK) and other overseas markets which by 34.6% yoy and 19.7% yoy respectively.

Sales from Jaguar stood at 12,310 vehicles, growing by 54%, as compared to the same month last year, led by continuing strong sales of the F-PACE, XE and the long wheel base XFL from the China joint venture.

Meanwhile, retail sales of Land Rover were at 28,075 vehicles, down 15.8% as compared to April last year.

Tata Motor's share price hit a 11-month low in today's trade, and was trading lower by as much as 4%.

However, the company expects sales to pick up from the next month onwards as the all-new Discovery model continues to go on sale across the world, particularly in China and North America, two of Jaguar Land Rover's biggest markets.

Moving on to news about the economy. India's services sector growth came close to stalling in April as a challenging macro environment hampered growth in the segment, according to the Nikkei Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey by Markit.

The Services PMI is the reading of the country's services sector output and is updated monthly. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any score below the mark denotes contraction.

The services PMI for April fell to three month lows and finished at 50.2, just above the mark that separates expansion from contraction.

Services PMI dropped from 51.5 in March to 50.2 in April, signaling a slowdown in the services sector.

Although a rating above 50 still indicates expansion, it is the pace of expansion that has slowed down.

Services PMI Growth Slows Down

April PMI data for the Indian service sector shows how jittery the current economic environment is, igniting concerns among some businesses, despite remaining in growth territory.

The Nikkei survey said that Indian service providers responded to the sustained rise in new business by recruiting additional workers, but it also revealed that while firms hired additional workers to meet new orders, the rate of job creation eased and was below the long-run survey average.

Having deteriorated considerably in November after notebandi, the health of India's service sector showed signs of recovery in January, with the services PMI going up to 48.5. Actual expansion however, began only from February with a slight expansion denoted by a score of 50.3.

While the services PMI has continued to expand, it is nowhere near the pre-notebandi levels of October 2016. However, a pickup in the economy after remonetisation can see the services sector expand to the previous levels.

Going ahead, services companies indicated that activity is expected to rise over the coming 12 months.

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Mar 20, 2018 11:05 AM