Buying activity intensified during the closing hours and thus, what looked like a flattish day turned into a rather buoyant outing for the markets today. BSE Sensex managed to muster up gains in the region of 170 points (up 1%) whereas NSE Nifty edged higher by around 50 points (up 1%). BSE Midcap and Small cap indices also ended buoyant, gaining in the region of 1% each. In the end, more than 3 stocks gained for every 1 that declined on the Sensex today. While most stocks edged higher, it was the heavyweights from the telecom and auto space that generated maximum buying interest.
Asian indices traded mostly weak today whereas Europe too is trading in the red currently. The rupee was trading Rs 46.9 to the dollar at the time of writing.
In what could come as another blow to the inflation haunted consumer in India, the Government is trying to firm up a plan to price domestic coal on par with global rates. Now, with prices of coal ruling at higher levels in the international markets, it surely will lead to higher prices for coal in India as well. It should be noted that majority of the power plants in India are still coal based and hence, such a move would lead to higher power tariffs as power companies may not be in a mood to absorb the entire price hike. However, given that India has started relying more and more on imported coal, such a move was deemed necessary to create a level playing field in the power and other sectors that make use of coal. Power stocks closed strong today with leading gainers being Reliance Power and Gujarat Industrial Power.
With gains in the region of 7%, Oral care major Colgate is amongst the top gainers on the BSE 'A' group index currently. The company seems to have come back on the investor radar following its robust showing in the fiscal year FY10. In a year where there was pressure on growth, the company managed to grow its sales at a rate significantly higher than the industry and thus, came out vindicated on its strategy of focusing on volume growth rather than price hikes. Going forward though, the battle for market share is going to intensify. Already, rivals like HUL have clearly sounded off their intentions of going for the kill and with able new entrants like P&G waiting in the wings, the road ahead looks rather tough for Colgate.