The Indian equity markets continued to trade in the positive territory, albeit in a range bound manner during the post noon trading session. While stocks from the healthcare and energy sectors seem to be in favour, those from the auto and realty spaces are amongst the top underperformers.
The Sensex today is trading higher by about 30 points (up 0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 10 points (up 0.2%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces also traded firm with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices trading up by over 0.3% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 52.37 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks are currently trading mixed with Ashok Leyland and Maruti Suzuki trading firm while TVS motor and Hero Motocorp are trading weak. The stock of two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto is trading weak on the back of the company announcing a sharp decline sales volumes during the month of September 2012. It is reported that the motorcycle sales decline by over 15% during the month as compared to last year. The company has attributed this largely to the festival season commencing a month later as compared to last year. However, it must be noted that sales of the more powerful bikes -Pulsar and Discover brands - accounted for a large chunk of the sales during the month. Sales of commercial vehicles were down as well. It sold 44,838 CVs (commercial vehicles) last month as against 46,478 units during the same month in 2011. Exports were down by about 6% YoY. As for the volume data in the year till date, the company's volumes were lower by 6% YoY. During the period, sale of CVs were down by 19% YoY, while sales of two-wheelers were down by about 4% YoY.
Telecom stocks have been trading on a mixed note with Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices trading in the green while Idea Cellular is witnessing selling pressure. The representative body for dual technology operators, AUSPI (Association of Unified Service Providers in India) has objected to the Department of Telecommunications' (DoT) proposal on existing 2G licenses. AUSPI has asked Dot to not make it compulsory for operators to match the 2G auction price for existing spectrum. The DoT has stated that the auction determined price would need to be paid by all operators for existing licenses for the remaining period of the license. This would substantially increase the burden of spectrum related cash outflow for all operators. As per AUSPI the increase in outflow would result in a massive default which could run into billions of dollars. AUSPI has further stated that the government should continue with its older policy of allocating spectrum rather than switching to the auction method. Though GSM operators have also objected to DoT's proposal on charging for spectrum on a prospective basis, however they have not objected to auctioning of licenses itself.