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A Dull Tuesday...
Tue, 31 May Closing

The Indian equity markets finished just below the dotted line after trading range bound for majority of the day. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 58 points, while the NSE Nifty finished lower by 18 points. The S&P BSE Midcap the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Sectoral indices finished on a mixed note with auto and metal stocks leading the gains. IT and pharma stocks witnessed maximum selling activity.

Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 3.34% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.98% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.90%. European markets are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.21% while Germany's DAX is off 0.12% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.10%.

The rupee was trading at 67.20 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 49.49 at the time of writing.

Buying activity was witnessed across majority of the automobile stocks. Tata Motor's DVR and Tata Motor lead the pack of gainers as the latter posted a three fold rise in net profits . Meanwhile, in another development, Tata Motors' subsidiary -- Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is also planning to invest around 3.75 billion pounds during the current fiscal 2016-17. The investment will go into expansion of global production capacity, new technologies and new vehicles, such as the Jaguar F-PACE and the Range Rover Evoque Convertible that will unleash the potential of both brands in the future.

Shares of Bajaj Auto finished the trading day on an optimistic note (up 0.6%) after it was reported that the company is planning to invest Rs 5.75 billion this fiscal in a bid to capture 25% share in the Indian motorcycle market. The company plans to use major chunk of the investment in launching new products.

The company is planning to launch an upgrade for the Platina (entry-level model) and a totally new Pulsar at the top-end in the next quarter. The company, which is currently strong in the entry level and top-end performance segment of the bike market, is looking to strengthen presence in the mid-executive segment. On the overall sales target, Bajaj Auto is reportedly targeting to sell 4.6 million units of two and three wheelers combined this fiscal, up from 3.9 million units in the previous fiscal.

The automobile industry is cyclical. Sales and profit growth depend a lot on how economic growth shapes up. When the economy is growing rapidly, auto companies see healthy growth in volumes as demand is robust. It is when the economy is bad that their mettle is really tested. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we have explained what factors drive the demand for automobiles (Subscription Required).

Moving on to news from banking sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, Bank of Baroda's non-performing assets stood below the 10% mark as the bank acquired loans from various banks for terms running from three to four months. The bank acquired 'standard' loans, thus lowering the proportion of bad debt in the total loan book (Subscription Required).

Bank of Baroda reported gross NPAs at 9.99% in FY16. The transactions took place under the Inter-Bank Participation Certification (IBPC) scheme, which allows the seller to buy back loans within 90 to 120 days. Of the total amount, close to Rs 35 billion of loans were reportedly acquired from Bank of India in two tranches.

Meanwhile, global rating agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded four public sector banks and issued a negative outlook on a fifth following a surge in their bad loans. The downgraded banks are Syndicate Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, IDBI Bank and Bank of India.

The rating action was driven by a sharp rise in bad loans in 2015-16 and a bleak outlook for asset quality over the next 12 months. However, the agency said that it expected these banks to remain afloat on the back of strong government support.

PSU banks finished on a positive note with Canara Bank and SBI leading the gains.

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Nov 20, 2017 (Close)