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Markets hold on to gains
Fri, 24 Sep 11:30 am

After starting today's session on a positive note, Indian indices have managed to hold on to their gains. However, other key Asian markets are trading mixed with the Hang Seng trading higher and Nikkei in the red. Currently heavyweights in the Sensex are trading mixed with stocks from the FMCG and consumer durables space finding investors' favour.

Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 66 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 18 points. Strong buying interest is witnessed amongst the mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading up by 0.7% and 1.0% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.55 to the US dollar.

Telecom stocks are trading positive with Bharti Airtel and RCom leading the gains. Bharti Airtel has become the first Indian mobile operator to receive a license from the RBI to offer mobile-payment services. The RBI has earlier granted the license to use the 'semi-closed mobile wallet' earlier in this quarter. The central bank's approval will enable Airtel to offer mobile-payment services. This will enable its subscribers to exchange physical cash for virtual money stored on the mobile wallet. Consumers can use the prepaid wallet at partner merchants for purchases; however they cannot use it to withdraw cash. Customers can use their phones to pay for goods and services for transaction valued at less than Rs 5,000 rupees (US$ 109) at specified merchant locations. Bharti plans to disclose more details on how the system conducts payments closer to the product's launch.

Earlier this month, BSNL launched a service that enabling customers who have credit cards to pay their bills using their mobile phones. Nokia India also partnered with Yes Bank and Obopay India Pvt. Ltd. to offer a limited trial for mobile payments.

Auto stocks are trading strong with TVS Motors and Maruti Suzuki leading the gains. However, M&M and Tata Motors are trading weak. As per a leading news daily, Tata Motors is geared up to launch new range of buses in the last quarter of this fiscal. The buses will be built at the company's Dharwad plant with the help of its JV partner Marcopolo and will be priced at a 5-10% premium over its current medium buses. The company intends to expand production at Dharwad from 1,000 units to 1,400 units a month by the year-end. The new buses will be added in the 7 to 12 tonne category with more feature content. Pricing will be the key here as competition from MNC players and new entrants is heating up. However, in order to de-risk competition, the company is planning to export buses to South Africa and Middle East and is also eyeing the markets of Latin America and Eastern Europe.

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Feb 16, 2018 (Close)