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Commodity stocks lead gainers
Thu, 8 Aug Closing

Indian equity markets ended on a positive note today. For the larger part of the day, the indices were trading in green due to buying interest in commodity and pharma stocks. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 124 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 47 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap index both closed higher by 1.5% and 1.3% respectively. Gains were largely seen in metals, realty and power stocks.

As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed in green today while European indices have also opened on a firm note. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.92 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Stocks from the oil and gas space ended the day on a firm note with HPCL, Petronet LNG and Cairn India leading the pack of gainers. Gujarat Gas announced its results for the quarter and half year ended June 2013 recently. During the quarter, the company's revenues came declined by about 3% YoY. However, its profits surged by 93% YoY. The sharp rise in profits came largely on the back of its operating margins nearly doubling. The same stood at 20.7% in 2QFY13 as compared to 10.8% in the corresponding quarter last year. Margin expansion came in mainly due to improvement in realizations, lower share of high cost spot LNG and softening of RLNG costs. Further, higher other income propped up the profit all the more during the quarter. As for the half year period, the company's revenues and profits rose by 2% YoY and 36% YoY respectively. The sharp rise in profits during the quarter seemed to have surprised investors as the stock of the company ended higher by 20% today.

Except Maharashtra Scooters and Tata Motors all stocks from the automobiles sector ended the day on a firm note with TVS Motors and Ashok Leyland leading the pack of gainers. Hero Motocorp , India's largest motorcycle maker has planned to launch 12 variants in the current fiscal and also planned to expand in 10 more international markets. The company has aimed to double its vehicle sales to 100 million by 2020. Further, it has planned to have 20 manufacturing plants worldwide by that year.

Post splitting from the partner Honda Motor Co in 2011, Hero has been compelled to invest heavily into export operations and technology tie-ups, even as domestic sales have remained subdued. The company continues to focus on bolstering volumes amidst increasing competition including that from its erstwhile partner. However, given the uncertain outlook with respect to product launches post 2014 (Hero has a technology arrangement with Honda until 2014), likely increase in wage costs and increasing competition, Hero may have a tough path to tread ahead. The stock closed higher by 1.3% today.

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