In the meanwhile, after the sell off yesterday, Indian equity markets traded well above the dotted line for most of today's session on the back of sustained buying across index heavyweights. This momentum was maintained in the final trading hour as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 137 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 45 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well and gained around 1% each. Barring stocks from the metal and oil & gas spaces, gains were seen across the board.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have also opened mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.34 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Bajaj Auto and M&M found favour, Ashok Leyland and Hero Motocorp closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has announced its volume numbers for September 2013. The company reported a 10.4% YoY decline in its total sales at 43,289 units during the month. In this, total sales volumes of passenger vehicles (including utility vehicles) fell by 20.5% YoY. Sales of the company's four-wheeler commercial vehicles were up by a mere 2% YoY at 14,709 units. Exports were down by 12% YoY during the month. However, the farm equipment sector did well as volumes in the domestic market were up by a robust 37% YoY on the back of good monsoons. Overall, factors such as rise in input and material costs and the depreciating rupee have added to the woes. Because of this, the company plans to hike the prices of its passenger cars and commercial vehicles by Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000 from October. Given that the festive season is around the corner and most auto companies are banking on this to bolster volumes, it remains to be seen whether price hikes will act as a dampener on demand.
As per a leading business daily, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has cut the current account deficit (CAD) target for India from 4% earlier to 3.2% of GDP this fiscal. However, it is still higher than 2.4% of GDP that the bank estimates as the optimal CAD. Meanwhile, the government plans to bring down CAD to 3.7% or US$ 70 bn in FY14, from 4.8% or US$ 88.2 bn in FY13. Whether it is actually able to do so remains to be seen. So far, the major focus of the government has been on placing curbs on gold imports. It has also been encouraging foreign flows into the country. But from a longer term perspective, the focus needs to be on making exports competitive. And also ramping up infrastructure so that it attracts longer term foreign capital. This is so that India does not face the problem of a bloated CAD time and again.