The Indian equity markets rose above the dotted line as buying activity picked up during the post noon trading session. Stocks from the capital goods and realty spaces are leading the pack of gainers, while those from the metal and IT spaces are amongst the top underperformers at the moment.
The Sensex today is trading higher by about 40 points while the NSE-Nifty is trading up by about 14 points. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading higher by about 0.8 and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 55.47 to the US dollar.
Stocks of FMCG companies are trading firm led by REI Agro, United Breweries and Hindustan Unilever. As reported by the Business Standard, cigarette to hotel group ITC Limited, has increased its stake in Hotel Leelaventure Limited yet again. This time the company (through Russell Credit) has increased stake by 1.1% in the hospitality major. With this, ITC's total stake in Hotel Leelaventure has risen to 13.98%. It is believed that the FMCG major has been accumulating shares of the hotel company since late 2008. The company's spokesperson maintained that these are routine treasury operations. ITC also holds a 14.98% stake in EIH. It is believed to have maintained that figure, which is a shy below the earlier takeover threshold limit of 15%, which has now been revised to 25%.
Auto stocks are trading firm led by TVS Motors, Escorts and Tata Motors. As per a leading financial daily, Maruti reported a 24% drop in sales of its entry-level mini segment to 28,998 units in July 2012. This segment consists of models like Maruti 800, Astar and WagonR. However, offtake of compact car segment comprising of Swift, Estilo and Ritz surged by 73% to 15759 units during the month. This clearly shows that Indian consumers are upgrading towards premium compact and super compact cars. Even the utility segment reported more than 1,000% jump to 7,294 units on the back of the recently launched Ertiga. However, the combined domestic sales of passenger cars and utility vehicles grew by a muted at 6.8% to 71,024 units in July. Exports, on the other hand, saw a 27.4% jump to 11,210 units. Therefore overall sales for Maruti were up by 9.2% to 82,234 units in July.