After starting the day in the red, the Indian markets gathered momentum to end the day on a firm note. The BSE-Sensex closed higher by about 270 points or 1.3%, while NSE-Nifty ended higher by about 85 points or 1.4%. Stocks from the realty and pharmaceutical sectors were amongst the top performers today. The consumer durables pack ended the day on a weak note. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap stocks were in favour today as well with their respective indices closing higher by about 0.8% and 0.5% respectively.
As regards global markets, Asian indices ended on a firm note, while European markets were trading mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.83 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Banking stocks ended the day on a positive note with IndusInd Bank, Bank of India and Yes Bank leading the pack of gainers. Against the backdrop of the festive season, State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, has slashed the interest rates on car and consumer durables. Also, to take advantage of the festival season demand, the bank has gone a step ahead and decided to lower processing charges. The interest rate on car loans has been slashed by 0.20% to 10.55% against the earlier 10.75%. This move comes from SBI after lenders such as Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and IDBI Bank too have slashed their interest rates on loans for automobiles and consumer durables such as televisions, air conditioners and refrigerators. This move also comes exactly a week after the Government of India decided to pump in funds in PSU banks. The government had decided to provide additional funds to the PSU banks a week ago to boost consumer demand and combat economic slowdown. The government in its budget has allocated Rs 140 bn towards capital infusion of banks. The additional amount will be provided to raise credit off-take in select sectors such as two-wheeler, consumer durables, etc.
Power stocks ended the day on a firm note led by Torrent Power and JSW Energy. The stock of Tata Power was in the news today on the back of the company's subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL), acquiring the entire stake in AES Saurashtra Windfarms Pvt Ltd. The latter operates a 39.2 megawatt (MW) wind power project in Jamnagar. The value of the deal has however not been disclosed yet. With this, the subsidiary's capacity stands at 437 MW. Given the fact that this is an operational unit already having a power purchase agreement in place with Gujrat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd - the Gujarat government owned power distribution utility - it is a positive. As reported by a leading business daily, the tariff will be fixed at Rs 3.56 a unit for the next two to two and half decades or the life of the plant, whichever is shorter. This is the second operational wind asset that the company has acquired. The company is looking to add more assets as it is scouting for opportunities in the wind and solar sector.