While the Indian stock markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note, buying activity gained considerable momentum in the ensuing hours. This momentum was maintained in the final trading hour as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 325 points (up 2%), the NSE-Nifty closed higher by around 92 points (up 2%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well to notch gains of 2% and 1% respectively. Gains were largely seen in auto, IT and oil & gas stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 48.98 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Engineering stocks closed mixed today. While Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Suzlon and BGR Energy found favour, ABB, Siemens and Voltas closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, BHEL has secured a Rs 40.7 bn equipment supply contract from Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. BHEL will be required to set up a 1,200 MW thermal coal-based power project for the latter in Andhra Pradesh. The scope of the contract includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of steam turbines, generators, boilers and associated civil work. It must be noted that at the end of 1QFY12, BHEL was sitting on a healthy order book of Rs 1,596 bn. This provides good revenue visibility going forward. Having said that, because majority of the backlog caters to the power segment, execution worries could remain going forward.
Auto stocks also closed mixed today. While Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto closed in the positive, Maruti was at the receiving end. As per a leading business daily, auto sales numbers for September 2011 were rather mixed. Growth of passenger car sales was quite dismal, while two-wheelers and commercial vehicles (CVs) saw healthy growth. As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales declined by 1.8% to 165,925 units during the month. On the other hand, total two-wheeler sales grew by 24.3% to 1,233,283 units, while sales of commercial vehicles grew by 18% to 70,634 units during the month. Growth of domestic passenger cars has been subdued on account of rise in interest rates and rising fuel prices (especially petrol), which has dampened demand. Plus, labour issues at Maruti's plant in Manesar have also had an impact on production. However, because of the healthy growth in both two-wheelers and CVs, the impact on total sales of vehicles across categories was cushioned as sales volumes were up by 19.4% YoY during September.