The Sensex today is trading higher by about 45 points (up 0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 25 points (0.5%). Midcap and smallcap stocks are also trading firm with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices trading higher by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 55.86 to the US dollar.
Stocks of auto ancillary companies are trading firm led by Amtek Auto, NRB Bearings and Sundaram Fasteners. Automotive Component Manufacturer's Association of India (ACMA) has projected the domestic auto component industry to grow by 8-10% in 2012-13 in the backdrop of a tough market environment. As per ACMA, the Indian economy has been facing a plethora of problems such as sluggish demand, slowdown in the investment cycle, domestic policy paralysis and uncertain trade environment. However under penetration and unfulfilled mobility aspirations of the Indian people continue to remain future growth drivers for the industry. The industry body has forecasted auto component exports to grow by 15-20% during the year.
FMCG stocks are currently trading weak with ITC Limited, United Spirits and Hindustan Unilever leading the pack of underperformers. It is reported that cigarette to hotel major ITC Limited is looking at entering the business of dairy products, drinks and also healthy breakfast foods. As per the management, this move is to do with the changing consumer behavior as Indians are turning health conscious in their food choices. As such, health and nutrition will be an area of focus for the company going forward. While the company would be able to exploit its already existing distribution network, however it will be difficult for it to gain a strong market share given the competitive nature and other large firms operating in these spaces. With the exception of packaged flour, in which the company holds a leading position, ITC has not been able to gain substantial market share in other segments.