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Auto, metal stocks weigh on markets
Wed, 24 Aug 01:30 pm

The Indian stock market lost further ground over the last two hours of trade due to selling pressure in the heavyweights. Stocks from the auto, metal and sofware space are trading in the red while those from the Consumer Durables and FMCG space are finding some investors' interests.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 153 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 45 points below yesterday's closing. However, the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices are up by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.88 to the US dollar.

Fertilizers stocks have been trading mixed with Godawari Fertilisers and Chemicals, Tata Chemicals and Gujarat State Fertilizers Company (GSFC) leading the pack of gainers. However, Zuari Industries and Coromandel International are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Chemicals, through its wholly owned subsidiary Gusiute Holdings has entered into an agreement with EPM Mining Ventures Inc. for a private placement of voting shares and purchase warrants. EPM Mining Ventures Inc. is an exploration-stage potash development company. According to the agreement, EPM Mining will issue eight million voting shares and eight million purchase warrants to Tata Chemicals at a price of US$ 16 m. After closing of the deal, Tata Chemicals will have 30.6% ownership in EPM Mining. The company has a capital expenditure plan of Rs 8 bn over the next three years. The stock of the company is trading firm.

Software stocks have been trading mixed as well with Oracle Financial Services Sofware, Mphasis Ltd and Mahindra Satyam leading the pack of gainers. However, HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Industry lobby body, The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) is confident of its earlier forecast of 16-18% growth rate for the software sector in the current fiscal. This is despite the recent crisis in the US and some of the European countries. As per some of the industry experts, it is too early to gauge the effects of the recent economic developments in the western part of the world. So far, they have not seen any negative feedbacks from the clients in terms of slash in the technology budget or cut in billing rates. They expect that things would be clear in late-October or mid-November when customers start finalizing their budgets.

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