The Indian stock markets started on a positive note and continued to trade higher for most of today's session. The indices traded well above the dotted line, except for a short dip below par in the final trading hours. However, they managed to close in the positive after the sharp correction yesterday. The market breadth was fairly even with as many declines as advances. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 40 points (up 0.2%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 10 points (up 0.2%). The smaller indices also had a positive day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap closed 0.2% and 0.1% higher respectively. Most sectoral indices saw gains today with especially FMCG and consumer durables stocks. Consumer goods and IT were the top losers.
As regards global markets, Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices also opened the day on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 56.09 to the dollar at the time of writing.
In a further blow to the euro zone, the region's private sector as manufacturing output slowed adding to the likelihood that the region further slumps into recession. Markit's Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a combination of the services and manufacturing sectors held steady at 46.4 this month. The index has been below the 50 mark (separating growth from contraction) for six months, and data collator Markit suggests that this data indicates a quarterly GDP fall of 0.6%. Plus, the only hope in the region, Germany has also been recently downgraded. Moody's Investors Service changed its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to negative from stable as fallout from Europe's debt crisis cast a shadow over the euro zone's top-rated countries. This adds to the already dismal status of the peripheral nations.
Shriram Transport Finance (STFC) declared its results for the first quarter of the financial year 2011-13 (1QFY13). Net interest income fell by 1.1% YoY in 1QFY13 despite a 13.3% growth in assets under management. The institution's net interest margins (on assets under management) contracts to 7.4%, from 7.6% in 1QFY12 on increased costs of funds. Its standalone net profit fell by 7.3% YoY in 1QFY13 on account of a fall in NII and increased provisioning. This was despite a drop in taxes outlay and a rise in other income. Shriram's net Non Performing Assets ratio increased to 0.62% in 1QFY13 from 0.49% at the end of 1QFY12. Provision coverage continues to be strong at 79.7%, however this came in lower than the 81.9% levels seen last year. While disbursements of new commercial vehicles (CVs) saw a 7% fall on a YoY basis, pre-owned vehicle disbursements increased by 18% YoY. The stock closed 1.3% higher post the result.
Eclerx declared its results for the first quarter of the financial year 2011-13 (1QFY13). Consolidated net sales grew by 20.5% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) during 1QFY13. Operating margins expanded to 39.8% during the quarter as against the 36.6% seen during the previous quarter (4QFY12). This was largely on account of decline in all the heads of expenses (as percentage of net sales) during the period. Employee costs witnessed a good decline of 2.7% QoQ (as percentage of net sales) during the quarter. On the back of margin expansion at operating levels, net profit for the quarter was propelled by 62.1% Q0Q during the quarter. This was well aided by higher other income and lower effective tax rate during the quarter. The company added 8 new clients during the quarter. All in all a great financial performance caused the stock to close 11.4% higher.