After starting today's session on a positive note, Indian indices have lost some ground. However, other key Asian markets have held on to the early gains. Currently heavyweights in the Sensex are in the red with stocks from the IT and consumer goods space losing investors' favour. However, stocks from the consumer durables and metals space are trading strong.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading down by around 22 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 14 points. Buying interest is also muted amongst the mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading down by 0.05% and 0.08% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.53 to the US dollar.
Real estate stocks are trading weak with Phoenix Mills and Unitech leading the pack of losers. However, Sobha Developers and Orbit Corporation are trading strong. As per a leading news daily, the NCR region may soon have 30,000 acres of land for residential construction if there is a fast track resolution of disputes over the title deeds. Right now, the NCR is short of 5 lakh housing units and the demand is growing at 1 lakh units a year. The move, if executed is likely to spark price correction releasing over 2 m housing units. The exercise is likely to unlock land in three states including Haryana, UP and Rajasthan. This will benefit developers who have strong presence in the NCR region like Unitech and DLF. However, implementation will be a big challenge for the government considering the bureaucracy involved in such policy initiatives. Further the time line as to when the free hold land will be made available to developers also remains a moot point.
Auto stocks are trading mixed with Maruti Suzuki and TVS Motor leading the gains. However, Escorts and MRF are trading weak. The Tata Nano which currently comes with a 600-cc petrol engine, plans to roll out a diesel variant, new petrol variants as well as get bigger engines. The new engines will have 1000-cc capacity and above.
Tata Motors has started work on the two engine variants, however, no time line or tentative prices have been drawn up so far. This is part of the company's strategy to leverage the strong Nano brand name, across car segments. This move is part of the broad strategy to redefine focus on Tata Motors' passenger car segment. It has strong brand recall in the CV segment; however the same cannot be said for its passenger cars. The company first started off only in 2001 by launching the Indica. With the strong brand name, and focus on further penetration in the car segment, going with brand Nano seems to be the best way forward.