Indian stock market continued to notch gains on the back of buying interest in heavy weights over the last two hours of trade. Stocks from the IT and banking space are trading firm, while stocks from the consumer durables space are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 220 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 68 points above the dotted line. BSE Midcap index is up by 1.3% while the BSE Small cap index is trading 1.2% above yesterday's closing. The rupee is trading at 44.90 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks are trading firm led by HPCL and BPCL. As per a leading financial daily, India's gas shortage is likely to hit many companies including GAIL (India). This is based on concerns that the company's capacity utilization rate is going to fall. GAIL is in the process of expanding its transmission capacity from about 170 m standard cubic meters per day (mscmd) currently to about 300 mscmd by FY14. This is a 76% increase in capacity. However, production issues at KG D6 gas blocks have raised questions whether GAIL will be able to meet its transmission volume guidance. If gas production in the country is not ramped up, suboptimal pipeline utilization is likely to put pressure on GAIL's profitability.
Automobiles stocks are trading firm led by Hero Honda and Escorts. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki has lowered its sales growth target for the current year from 13% to 8%. The company expects to sell 1.18 m vehicles in FY12. Maruti sold 1.13 m cars in FY11 registering a growth of 30%. The market share which earlier stood at 45% is expected to go down to 42%. The main reasons for under revising the targets are said to be inflation, high interest rates and high fuel prices. It may be noted here that auto industry in general has also witnessed slower growth rate in the recent past. The passenger car industry slowed to a 20-month low at 7% growth last month.