It was a volatile session for indices in the Indian stock markets today. While they started on a positive note and remained that way for most of the session, weakness came to the fore during the latter part of the day, forcing the indices to close marginally in the red. This takes the decline for the whole week to 2%. The Sensex today closed lower by 56 points today (down 3%), while the NSE-Nifty lost around 20 points. Realty and metal stocks emerged as the biggest losers.
As far as global indices are concerned, while Asia closed mixed, Europe is also trading in a similar pattern currently. The rupee was placed at Rs 59 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), the FMCG behemoth, announced its results today and they were tepid at best. Topline for the quarter ended June 2013 increased 6% YoY while profits came in lower by 23% YoY. Adjusting for one time income gains, net profit witnessed a 4% YoY growth. The volume growth during the quarter came in at 4%, slower than the 9% growth witnessed during the same quarter last year. The company's results highlight a warning by the company's parent that growth in emerging nations is no longer immune to weakness in the global markets. Further, HUL's CFO also added that the performance of Indian entity is very much a reflection of what the parent said. HUL closed lower by around 3% today.
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), India's largest steel making PSU is in discussions with Indian Railways for setting up passenger coach making facility jointly with an estimated investment of Rs 10 bn. While a detailed project report is being prepared, the location has not been finalised just yet. The move is likely to be a win-win for both SAIL as well as Indian railways as it will give the latter an easy availability of coaches while SAIL will enjoy the benefits of some of its revenues getting de-risked from the cyclicality of the industrial sector. The stock closed marginally higher today.