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Markets continue their decline
Mon, 23 Jul 01:30 pm

The Indian equity markets continued to fall further into the negative territory during the post noon trading session. Stocks from across the board are trading weak led by those from the metal, capital goods and realty space. Healthcare and IT stocks are amongst the top performers at the moment.

The Sensex today is trading lower by about 230 points (down 1.3%) and NSE-Nifty is trading down by about 73 points (1.4%). Both, the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading weak by about 1.2% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 55.8 to the US dollar.

Most of the automobile stocks are trading in red with Maruti Suzuki and Maharashtra Scooters being the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto is upbeat on the export demand and is aiming 50% of its sales to come from exports over the next three years. Currently, the company derives 35% of its motor cycle sales from exports. The company has plans to expand presence in Latin America particularly countries like Argentina and Chile. Presently, Bajaj Auto exports to 35 countries with the African continent being its largest export destination accounting for 41% of its overseas shipments. This is followed by Asia and West Asia forming 40% of the export market. Bajaj Auto stock is down 1.7%.

Engineering stocks are currently trading weak led by Crompton Greaves, Punj Lloyd, Jyoti Structures and Voltas. As per an article mentioned in the Hindu Business Line, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has blamed power equipment major Bharat Heavy Engineering Ltd (BHEL) for delaying commissioning of the former's 727 MW gas-based power project at Palatana in Tripura. It is reported that the public sector oil and gas major had offered the contract to BHEL in June 2008. This project was scheduled to be commissioned last year. However as it turns out, the same has not started commercial operations till now. While ONGC's management does not doubt the quality of the BHEL's products, it made a statement that BHEL is not a very efficient company in the area of project commissioning. As per BHEL, delays were mainly due to reasons such as non availability of skilled manpower and change in design criteria on technical datasheets - aspects which are out of its control. However it did admit that there were some logistics problems leading to gap of 18 months for receiving the last consignment. Also the fact that the site was in a remote location did not help matters.

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