Snapping down the yesterday's strong momentum, Indian equity markets today closed on a weak note. While the equity benchmark indices languished in the red today, the mid and the small cap indices outperformed. Both the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices were up by 0.5% and 0.3% respectively. However, BSE Sensex lost steam and closed down by 55 points. The NSE-Nifty too was seen down by 21 points. While profit booking hit the Indian equities badly, realty stocks observed maximum selling pressure. That said, stocks from consumer durables witnessed buying interest.
On the global front, the Asian indices closed the day on a mixed note. The European indices, however, have opened on a poor note. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.59 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Stocks from the PSU banking space have closed today on a mixed note. While Indian Overseas Bank and Syndicate Bank led the pack of gainers, United Bank of India and Andhra Bank led the pack of losers. In order to tackle the short term asset-liability mismatches during the weekends, lenders led by State Bank of India have requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for providing liquidity support through the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) on Saturdays. While other clearing facilities such as RTGS and NEFT are operational on Saturdays, banks tend to face requirement of funds in case of a huge outflow.
Banks are allowed to borrow money through the liquidity adjustment facility at the repo rate which is at 8% now. Repo borrowings are capped at 25% of the net demand and time liabilities. Moreover, the daily requirements of 95% cash reserve (CRR) and 100% on the reporting fortnight poses liquidity challenges for the bankers. Therefore, it becomes essential all the more for them to avail the repo facility over the weekends.
In the crucial Supreme Court hearing regarding the coal block allocation scam, the government has told the apex court today that it is in favour of the cancellation of coal blocks which have been declared illegal. The government believes that cancellation of coal blocks which have not been operationalised would be "a natural consequence". However, the government has once again asked the SC to spare the 46 coal blocks that have either begun production or are about to begin production in a few months time. The Supreme Court had, on Aug 25th, declared that all 194 coal blocks allocated since 1993 were illegal. However, private companies have asked the court to hear their side of the case before taking a final call on the issue.