After starting the day on a firm note, the Indian stocks lost steam during the pre-noon session as the markets dipped below yesterday's closing figure. Since then, the weakness continued till the end. The BSE-Sensex ended the day with losses of about 60 points or 0.22%, while the NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 0.1% or 9 points. Stocks from the auto and FMCG spaces were amongst the top underperformers today, while those from the realty and metal spaces were amongst the top performers. Moving on to mid and smallcaps, their representative indices ended firm today with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices closing lower by 0.6% and 1.3% respectively.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia closed on a mixed note today with Japan and Hong Kong closing lower by about 0.2% and 0.1% respectively, while China ended higher by 0.9%. European stocks were trading mixed at the time of writing. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.44 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Banking stocks ended the day on a weak note with Bank of India, Union Bank and ICICI Bank leading the pack of losers. As reported by the Economic Times, the large housing finance companies and banks have brought back fixed-rate mortgages. As reported, ICICI Bank is offering home loans of up to 10 years at a fixed rate of 10.25%, which is slightly higher than the 10.15% figure it charges for its floating home loans. HDFC is believed to be providing such loans (particularly fixed) at rates of 10.25% as well. As reported by the business daily, the aim of bringing back such loans is to lock a sizeable home loan portfolio which can be funded by floating infrastructure bonds. A month ago, the RBI allowed lenders to raise infrastructure bonds equal to the home and infrastructure loans on their books. Given that infrastructure bonds are relatively a cheaper source of finance this would be an option the lenders would be going for.
Stocks of information technology companies ended the day on a firm note led by Hexaware Technologies, Wipro and Infosys. As per a leading business daily, IT major Wipro has won a five year contract from Philip Morris International Inc, which is the world's largest tobacco company. As part of the agreement, the IT company will manage many functions of its client including supporting servers, storage, backup, and applications infrastructure. As reported by the Economic times, the value of this contract stands at US$ 35 m (Rs 2.1 bn). The stock of Wipro ended the day higher by about 1%.