The Sensex today is trading lower by about 130 points (down 0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading lower by about 42 points (0.8%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are trading lower with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by 0.6% each. The rupee is trading at 54.33 to the US dollar.
Banking stocks are currently trading weak led by Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. India's largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI) announced a 0.25% cut in base rate - the minimum rate at which the bank lends to its customers - following the Reserve Bank of India's decision to cut the CRR by 0.25% earlier this week. With this reduction, SBI's base rate stands at 9.75% effective today. While the bank's management expects pressure on net interest margins to a certain extent, it believes that this move would help it grow its business and thus make up for the contraction in margins. As per the company, the lower base rate would impact NIMs by about 4 basis points or 0.04%. This move by the banking major has forced other banks to follow suit.
Auto stocks are currently trading weak led by Hero Motocorp, Mahindra and Mahindra and Bajaj Auto. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply 1,314 trucks to Surat-based Sidhhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd. (SVLL). The order book value is estimated to be around Rs 2.2 bn. SVLL is one of the largest corporate logistics service providers with operations in diverse segments like steel, cement, tractors, chemicals and machinery and has pioneered transportation of commercial vehicle chassis. Reportedly the company currently owns a fleet of 3,928 vehicles. Tata Motors had fulfilled its earlier order of 1,111 trucks by 31st March FY12.