After starting today's session on a positive note, Indian indices have managed to hold on to their gains. Other key Asian markets too are trading strong with both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei finding favour. Currently, heavyweights in the Sensex are trading strong with stocks from the metals and consumer durables space finding interest from investors.
Currently, the BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 148 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 39 points. Strong buying interest is being witnessed amongst mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading up by 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.32 to the US dollar.
Banking stocks are trading positive with Bank of India and Canara Bank leading the gains. 6 more banks have recently hiked their base lending rates. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are among the banks who recently raised rates. This move means that individuals as well as corporates will need to pay more for their loans. However, most loans are still pegged to banks' Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR). Thus, a majority of borrowers will not be impacted by this rate hike.
Banks have also raised deposit rates over the past week or so. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have raised rates by 0.25% while the state-owned Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank have hiked base rates by 0.50% to 8.50%. These hikes in loan and deposit rates have been expected ever since RBI raised its repo rate in mid-September by 25 basis points and the reverse repo rate by 0.5% to control inflation.
Auto stocks are trading firm led by Eicher Motors and TVS Motors. As per a leading news daily, Bajaj Auto is likely to increase the prices of its bikes by 1-2% following a rise in the input cost. It should be noted that in July this year, the company had already increased bike prices due to increase in steel prices. Now the steel prices are likely to increase further by Rs 500-1,000 in the coming months due to an increase in the global demand for the material. Hence the company is contemplating an increase in prices. Nonetheless, the company is still working out on the details of the hike and is also planning to ramp up its production capacity to 2 m units annually by October.