The Sensex today is up by around 77 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 27 point (0.5%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 56.66 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Hero MotorCorp and Tube Investments leading the gains. However, Bajaj Auto and Eicher Motor are facing selling pressure. Leading Indian two-wheeler makers Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto have reported their sales figures for the month of May 2013. Hero MotoCorp reported sales of 557,890 units during the month as against 556,644 units in May 2012, a very marginal rise of 0.2%. However, it is worth noting that this is the highest ever month sales achieved by the company. On the other hand, Bajaj Auto reported domestic sales of 212,129 units during the month as against 206,751 units in May 2012, higher by 2.6%. However, Bajaj Auto's total sales including exports declined by 5.3% year-on-year from 321,922 units in May 2012 to 304,780 units in May 2013. It must be noted that Hero has launched Hero FinCorp which is its own retail finance firm. This arm will be extended to 450 dealerships across India by March 2015.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with UCO Bank, Union Bank of India and Bank of India leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has cut interest rates on short term bulk deposits by 0.25%. As such, the interest rate on Rs 1 crore and above for tenors of seven days to less than one year will be 7.25%. This change will be made effective from June 07, 2013. One of the main reasons for the cut in interest rates is that the state-run bank has over Rs 400 bn of excess cash and does not need to attract more such deposits. It is worth noting that while SBI is flush with cash, the overall banking system is facing a liquidity crunch. The average daily borrowing by banks at Reserve Bank of India's liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) is more than Rs 900 bn. The move to cut deposit rates will also help SBI improve its net interest margins which came down to 3.7% in 4QFY13 as against 4.2% in 4QFY12.