The Sensex today is down by around 58 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 23 point (0.4%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading marginally in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.03% and 0.05% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.60 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Eicher Motor leading the gains. However, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motor Company are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading auto firm Tata Motors will take a five-day block closure at its Jamshedpur plant from September 26, 2013 to October 1, 2013 (excluding September 29 which is a Sunday). Work on the plant is set to resume on October 3, 2013 as the preceding day is also a public holiday. It is worth noting that this will be the third block closure in less than a month's time. The company had taken a three-day block closure from August 29-31. Then there was a two-day block closure last week. The main reason for these block closures is a reaction to the severe slowdown in demand. With the five-day block closure, the company is aiming to prevent unnecessary inventory pile up in the company as well as with dealers.
PSU bank stocks have also opened the day on a weak note with Indian Bank, Bank of India, State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank (PNB) leading the pack of losers. As per a leading financial daily, global rating agency Moody's downgraded India's leading public sector lender State Bank of India, citing increasing pressures on asset quality and capital generation concerns. The rating agency downgraded rating for SBI's senior unsecured debt and local currency deposit from 'Baa2' to 'Baa3'. While the outlook of the rating is stable, Moody's has said that an upgrade on the revised rating is "unlikely" owing to the deteriorating economic conditions in India. It must be noted that SBI's new rating is at par with rating for Government of India's (Baa3 stable) foreign currency bonds.
On the other hand, Fitch Ratings downgraded viability rating (VR) of Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda by one notch to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'. It also downgraded the issuer default rating (IDR) of Indian Bank.