The Indian stock markets started the day on a positive note. However the indices moved progressively lower as the session wore on. In the final few hours of trade, they touched the low point of the day and ended up closing in the red. Disappointing Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers helped contribute to the negatives. India's industrial output fell for the third time in four months. Thus puts further pressure on the new finance minister P. Chidambaram in trying to rescue the flagging Indian economy. Industrial output shrank 1.8% in June, dragged down by a sharp dip in manufacturing. This was significantly lower than the 9.5% growth from a year earlier.
The market breadth was negative with 1.4 declines to every advance. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 40 points (down 0.23%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 15 points (down 0.3%). The smaller indices also had a negative day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap closed 0.3% and 0.4% lower respectively. The oil and gas and the banking index both saw losses today. FMCG and metal stocks led the gains.
As regards global markets, Asian indices had a positive outing today (with the exception of India). European indices opened the day on a mixed note. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.29 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Despite tough macroeconomic conditions, car sales in India grew by 6.7% during July, mainly on account of a low base effect last year on account of a strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant. According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in July stood at 1.4 lakh units as against 1.3 lakh in the same month last year. Out of this the growth has mainly come from diesel models. Interest rates remain high and consumer sentiment negative, thus there aren't many positives to help spur growth. Fuel costs have moderated slightly, however there is still a huge differential between diesel and petrol prices.
Total sales of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 7.5% to 14,46,959 units from 13,45,644 units in the same month last year. Total two-wheeler sales increased by 7.45%. Bike sales grew by a little less than 5%, which is the slowest monthly pace since the 1.5% growth clocked in March.
Indian Hotel Company Limited (IHCL) has announced its consolidated results for the quarter ended June 2012. The company has reported a 19.8% YoY growth in sales. The company has also reported a wider net loss as compared to the same period last year. Operating margins saw no improvement and remained flat as compared to the same quarter previous year. This has been due to increase in overall costs which saw a rise of 20.2% YoY. However, operating profits increased by 16.9% YoY on back of strong revenue growth. The company's net loss for the quarter widened to Rs 334 m as compared to Rs 223 m in the same quarter last year. This was due to increase in forex losses, lower treasury income, and an investment in a new property. On a standalone basis, the company reported a 7.3% YoY increase in net sales and a decline of 81.1% YoY in net profit for the quarter ended June 2012.