Led by intense profit booking in select index heavyweights the benchmark Sensex nosedived into the negative territory in the final trading hour. However, the mid and smallcap stocks managed to buck the trend and stayed marginally in the positive. Profit booking in steel, banking and auto stocks led the indices to shed all the gains seen in the early hours of trade. The BSE Sensex lost around 21 points (down 0.2%) today whereas NSE Nifty was down around 9 points (down 0.1%). The BSE Sensex gained 1.7% during this week.
While the Asian indices closed a mixed bag today, India led the pack of losers in Asia. Europe is trading firm currently. The rupee was placed at 46.08 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Steel stocks including Tata Steel and SAIL closed around 1% lower today. As per a business daily, India's finished steel imports in April-July rose 66% YoY to 3.66 m metric tons due to robust demand from automakers and construction sector. The lower overseas prices have in fact forcing domestic steel makers to seek import curbs. Most of the imports during the period were of hot-rolled coils, which are primary products for making cold-rolled sheets and pipes from China and east European countries. Also, banking on the growing demand for steel, producers such as Arcelor Mittal, POSCO and Tata Steel have lined up mega capex plans in India. However, so far the new projects have failed to take off due to a delay in land acquisition and allocation of mineral linkages.
Meanwhile, denying the need for the RBI to accelerate its attempt to bring inflation under control, the governor Dr Subbarao has said that it is not practical for the central bank to focus exclusively on inflation. According to him, the RBI needs to balance between growth, price stability and financial stability. He also said that more often than not the drivers of inflation in India emanate from the supply side. Food items have a weight of 46 to 70% in various CPIs and are notoriously subject to supply shocks which are normally beyond the pale of monetary policy. Subbarao indicated that the RBI's monetary transmission mechanism is improving but is yet to reach robust standards.
Raymond, the country's largest integrated manufacturer of worsted fabric, has posted a net loss of Rs 250 m in 1QFY11 as compared to the loss of Rs Rs 316 m in the corresponding quarter of FY10. Total income of the company, however, reported a marginal increase of 2% YoY. Revenues from the textile and garments segments grew by 29% YoY and 20% YoY respectively. The worsted fabric segment managed to garner volume growth of 16% YoY and realization growth of 11% YoY this quarter. However, the company continues to face the pressure of higher input costs of cotton and wool.