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Index dragged down by heavyweights
Tue, 16 Oct Closing

The Indian stock markets started the day on a positive note. The indices remained above par only initially and continued to trade positive till the mid-afternoon session. However towards the middle of the trading session, indices moves steadily downwards and continued trade lower till the end of trade. Finally indices closed the day in the negative. The BSE-Sensex closed in the red, lower by around 136 points (down 0.7%). The NSE-Nifty also closed lower by around 39 points (down 0.7%). The smaller indices also had a negative day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap closed 0.7% and 0.4% lower respectively in trade today. FMCG and consumer durables stocks saw a bulk of the gains today. Realty and metal stocks were on the losing end in today's trade.

As regards global markets, Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices opened the day on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.91 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Maruti Suzuki plans to produce 2,000 cars per day by end-November at its Manesar factory in the northern state of Haryana up from 1,500 currently. Earlier this year the factory was hit by riots which marred production for a number of days. The company also recently launched a new version of its Alto model, clocking over 10,000 pre-orders since bookings were opened in late September '12. In the fiscal year that ended in March '12, Maruti sold over 310,000 Altos, making it the world's biggest selling small car. Since 1984, Maruti's basic models have outperformed almost every other player in India's car market. However over the past few years the company has been facing increased competition in the small car segment. Sales of Maruti's entry-level models are down 21% so far in FY13. Competition from rivals such as Hyundai Motors and Tata Motors has affected the company.

The Indian government is planning to offer gas producers the same incentives that are currently enjoyed only by crude oil producers. This will help encourage companies for exploring natural gas domestically. The companies that are expected to benefit from this deal include Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), Gas Authority Of India Ltd. (GAIL), Gujarat Gas and Indraprastha Gas. As of now, India provides tax incentives on crude oil production however similar concessions are not given to gas producers. This significantly adds to their exploration risk because when they start drilling in a new block, they do not know if they will find oil or gas. The use of natural gas is expected to increase in the next few years, thus this new policy will have far reaching benefits.

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