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Rate cut hope fuels rally
Wed, 15 May Closing

Indian equity markets surged over 2.5% on Wednesday led by interest rate sensitive stocks on rate cut hopes. Domestic sentiment was buoyed after WPI inflation fell to a three-year low of 4.69%, giving room for RBI to cut interest rates in its mid-quarter monetary policy review next month. Buying interest in Banking, Realty and Capital Goods stocks led indices in Indian equity markets to close at the highest level since January 2011. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by 490 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 151 points. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed on a positive note.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the green. European indices have opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.73 to the dollar at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, ITC is planning to foray into various new segments, including oral care. The company's foods segment is fast approaching break-even, and its personal care division is also faring well. The Rs 60 bn toothpaste market in India is growing 19% a year and many companies including ITC are eyeing this space. ITC, much like other consumer companies, has watched how the oral care sector has evolved in the last two years and the company has adequate resources to enter into a category such as oral care, considered competitive, with a penetration level of 55-56% in India. ITC has demonstrated it has the staying power in competitive categories such as foods and personal care, despite being a late entrant in these segments. While oral care is growing, the initial challenges would be there.

According to a leading financial daily, Tata Motors' subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), manufacturer of premium luxury vehicles, sold 28,503 vehicles, its best ever, in April, an increase of 12% versus the same period last year. During the first four months of the year, Jaguar Land Rover sold 143,974 vehicles, up 16%. April sales were up for Jaguar Land Rover in every major region, with the Asia-Pacific up 37%, the UK up 32%, the China Region up 10%, North America up 6%, Europe up 2% and other overseas markets up 11% (including India, which is up 6%). Sales of the Jaguar XF remain buoyant across many of their key markets and the company is seeing the positive impact of the all new Range Rover with sales approaching 15,000 cars in the first four months of this year. In April, Jaguar sold 4,711 vehicles up 12%. The Land Rover, on the other hand, sold 23,792 vehicles in April, up 12%.

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