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Banking & IT stocks soar
Fri, 22 Aug Closing

After trading marginally above the dotted line during post noon trading session, the Indian equity markets seemed directionless and closed flat. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 59 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 22 points. Even Midcaps and Smallcaps followed broader market trend and closed with marginal gains. While the BSE Mid Cap index closed higher by 0.22%, the BSE Small Cap index closed flat. IT and banking stocks were the biggest gainers today.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.55 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Sugar stocks ended the day on a strong note today. Uttam Sugars and Bajaj Hindustan were the top gainers. The government has decided to increase the import duty on sugar from 15% to 25% in order to protect the domestic producers. It may be noted that the domestic producers owe about Rs 150 bn to farmers and were demanding a duty of 40%. While the increase is less than anticipated it is likely to help the producers in a big way as dumping from foreign markets will no longer be feasible now. Until now excessive imports were hurting domestic producers. With the levy being increased the financial health of the domestic producers is likely to improve and they will be in a better position to repay their dues to the farmers.

Auto stocks have closed the day on a negative note. The stocks of Escorts and TVS Motors have ended the day with the biggest declines. As per a leading business daily, Maruti Suzuki's management expects the economy to recover during the next few months. It expects the current positive demand trend to continue into the coming festive season and the following months. In view of this, it is planning to launch a Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) next year. Further, the company plans to achieve a significantly higher sales target of 3 m units over the longer term from the present target of 1.2 m. million. For this, it is also planning to increase its number of models from 12 to 25.

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