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Sensex Opens in Red; Tata Stocks Crash
Thu, 27 Oct 09:30 am

Asian markets are lower in early trade after Chinese data showed growth in industrial profits slowed last month. The Nikkei 225 is off 0.3% while the Hang Seng is down 1.2%. The Shanghai Composite is down 0.4%. The US and European markets closed below the dotted line in previous trades.

Meanwhile, Indian stock markets too have opened the day on a negative note. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 92 points and NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 36 points. Meanwhile, both S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading lower by 0.6% and 0.2% respectively. Barring oil & gas and FMCG sector, all the sectoral indices have opened in the red. IT and power sector is leading the losses. The rupee is trading at 66.76 against the US$.

According to a leading financial daily, Punjab National Bank (PNB) cut the benchmark lending rate by 0.05%. The new marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) will be effective from November 1.

As per the reports, for overnight tenor it will be lower by 0.05% to 9%, for 3-months 9.15%, one year term 9.25%, three years 9.40% and that for five years the MCLR is fixed at 9.55%.

Banks have moved to MCLR as its new benchmark lending rate from June, replacing the base rate system for new borrowers. It is calculated on the marginal cost of borrowing and return on net worth for banks. It was introduced by RBI to ensure fair interest rates to borrowers as well as banks.

It also seeks to address the RBI's primary objective of expediting the monetary policy transmission along with increasing uniformity and transparency in the calculation methodology of lending rates.

In another development, HDFC Bank reported a 20.42% rise in its net profit at Rs 34.55 billion for the quarter under review as compared to Rs 28.69 billion for the same quarter in the previous year. The total income of the bank increased by 15.28% at Rs 199.70 billion for Q2FY17 as compared Rs 173.24 billion for the corresponding quarter previous year.

The bank's gross NPA for the July- September quarter of the current fiscal increased to 1.02%, as compared to 0.91% in the same quarter of the previous year, while the bank's Net NPA stood at 0.30% in Q2FY17.

Share price of HDFC bank has opened the trading day down by 0.6% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from stocks in the FMCG sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, FMCG companies clocked slowest Q2 sales in a decade, even as consumers across rural and urban markets remained unwilling to spend money.

Hindustan Unilever posted just 1.6% year-on-year increase in its net sales for the second quarter, while Dabur posted standalone revenue growth of just 2.3%. Meanwhile, ITC's FMCG business grew 13%, prompting everyone to concede that the overall market in the country remains "challenging".

According to the MD of Hindustan Unilever, July was when the company actually saw the consumer demand and volumes dip because of the confluence of drought plus floods in some places.

HUL's personal care business that accounts for half its overall sales declined 0.3% to Rs 40.28 crore in the September quarter, while home care segment grew 3% to Rs 27.77 billion. Hindustan Unilever's dominating presence in a range of daily consumption items such as soaps, shampoos and detergents makes its performance more or less reflects the overall consumer sentiment in the country.

Meanwhile, ITC's FMCG revenue rose 13.3% to Rs 26.72 billion in the quarter ended September led by new launches and favorable base in noodles. Reportedly, prices of key raw materials such as wheat, sugar and palm oil, though low, have been gradually rising, which could impact the profitability of companies.

Dabur posted standalone revenue growth of just 2.3% in the quarter at Rs 13.48 billion. Its net profit grew 17.7% to Rs 26.8 billion.

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