The Indian equity markets continued to trade around the dotted line during the previous two hours of trade. While stocks from IT and FMCG spaces are amongst the least favoured, those from the realty and power sectors are leading the pack of gainers. Stocks from the capital goods and metal spaces have also managed to find some interest from investors.
The Sensex today is trading lower by about 4 points, while the NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 3 points. Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces continue to outperform their larger peers as the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are up by over 1% each. The rupee is trading at 53.29 to the US dollar.
It may be recalled that Standard & Poor had cut the outlook on India's sovereign rating of 'BBB-' to negative from stable in April. Now, the rating agency has cut India's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) forecast to 5.5%. This is despite the slew of policy measures announced last week. This forecasted figure is lower by 100 basis points from its earlier projections of 6.5%. The latter is the growth rate that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has estimated. On the other hand, the Prime Minister's economic advisory council's forecast is 6.7%. In 1QFY13, the growth rate stood at 5.5%, signaling that there is a significant amount of catching up to do if one goes by the government's forecast figures.
Stocks of technology companies are trading weak with HCL Technologies, TCS, Tech Mahindra and Infosys leading the pack of losers. A leading business daily has reported that the increasing number of onsite engineers of IT majors sitting on the bench will impact their profitability in the short term. It is reported that utilization rates of such employees has fallen to 90% from 97% at the start of the year. It may be noted that IT companies continued their hiring spree pose the overall slowdown hitting the US and European economies are business and contract volumes continued to rise at a steady pace. Hiring also continued in anticipation of a bounce back in economy for these regions. However, with clients still going easy on their technology spends, the situation of lower utilization rates has occurred. As per the leading business daily, this is the situation being witnessed by all of the big four IT firms.